Hamas opens memorial to dead flotilla activists

AP News
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Posted: May 31, 2011 7:42 AM
Hamas opens memorial to dead flotilla activists

The Islamic militant group Hamas has unveiled a memorial for nine activists killed last year in an Israeli raid on an international flotilla seeking to break a blockade of the Gaza Strip.

The memorial at Gaza's harbor includes nine 12-yard-(meter)-high metal statues shaped as sails, and a new public park.

Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said Tuesday the memorial commemorates "the heroes who drew the world's attention to the siege of Gaza."

Israel and Egypt have enforced the blockade since Hamas took power four years ago. Last week, Egypt permanently opened the border. But Israel still enforces its sea blockade and other restrictions.

The Turkish group behind last year's flotilla is planning another one in June. Israel vows to block it.