A bipartisan group of congressmen led by Chris Papas, Nicole Malliotakis, Dina Titus, Brad Schneider, and Grace Meng, called on US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken to intervene in order not to sail a convoy of Non-Governmental Organizations (Freedom Flotilla Coalition) from Turkey ) which has as its purported objective to provide humanitarian aid, breaking the naval blockade of Gaza.

The MPs’ move comes amid escalating tensions and concerns over Turkey’s imposition of trade sanctions on Israel. In their letter to Anthony Blinken, the lawmakers stressed their support for existing mechanisms for sending humanitarian aid. At the same time, they focused on the fact that the organizers of the convoy refuse to allow Israeli inspection of the cargo.

In this context, the MPs point out that this particular move is under the partial guidance of the Turkish Foundation for Humanitarian Aid, an organization that has close ties to the Turkish government and financial links to Hamas. Given this, they argue, doubts are raised about the true humanitarian nature of this mission.

In particular, lawmakers fear the flotilla could worsen the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, inflame regional tensions and undermine ongoing negotiations for a temporary ceasefire. With this in mind, they reaffirmed their support for Israel and the uninterrupted delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza. However, they opposed any action that could impede effective aid delivery or escalate the conflict.

Regarding the contribution of the Republic of Cyprus, MPs highlighted the ongoing efforts to build a floating jetty off Gaza as part of the Cyprus initiative to create a maritime humanitarian corridor. In this light, they praised the international cooperation that ensures that aid reaching the Palestinians does not include aid to Hamas.

Finally, the letter received the support of various organizations, such as the Hellenic American Leadership Council (HALC), the American Hellenic Institute (AHI), the American Jewish Committee (AJC) and “FDD Action”.