(JTA) — American Jewish groups are calling on the State Department to designate a Turkish relief group, a main organizer of last month’s Gaza flotilla, as a terrorist organization.
In a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, the Anti-Defamation League said that the Insani Yardim Vakfi (Humanitarian Relief Fund, or IHH) has “well-documented ties to Hamas.”
The ADL also has written to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner urging his department to add IHH to its lists of terror-sponsoring organizations, which triggers restrictions on business and banking transactions with Americans.
The American Jewish Committee also urged the State Department to investigate ties between IHH and terrorist organizations on the U.S. list of foreign terrorist groups.
"As the result of IHH’s activities in support of terrorism, we believe it is vital that IHH’s involvement with Al-Qaida and Hamas be investigated and that appropriate action be taken to prevent it from abusing its non-profit status to aid terrorists," AJC Executive Director David Harris said in a letter to Clinton.
Meanwhile, B’nai Brith Canada is working to get 10,000 signatures on a petition asking the Canadian government to designate IHH as a terrorist entity in Canada.
IHH purchased the $1.8 million Mavi Marmara, the largest ship in last month’s Gaza-bound flotilla intercepted by Israel in international waters. Nine passengers were killed aboard the ship during confrontations with Israeli naval commandos.