Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has asked the United States to delay publication of the UN report on last year's raid of the Mavi Marmara flotilla ship by six months, Channel 2 reported on Sunday.
According to the Channel 2 report, Netanyahu told the US that in six months time he expects to be stronger politically and better able to deal with the consequences of the report's publication.
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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced on Friday that the Palmer Report on the Marmara incident will be postponed for the third time and will be published at the beginning of next month, according to Army Radio. The report was originally to be released on May 15, but was postponed at Turkey’s request.
Ban said that that the reason for the postponement was to give Israel
and Turkey more time to a find a formula to renew full diplomatic ties.
The report – whose details have been widely reported – upholds the
legality of Israel’s naval blockade of the Gaza Strip, but takes the IDF
to task for using disproportionate force in enforcing the blockade.
Turkey is keen to bury the report, because while far from being a
pro-Israel document, by upholding the legality of the blockade it places
some of the responsibility for the flotilla fiasco on Turkey’s
Turkey is demanding Israel apologize for the incident, pay compensation
to the families of the victims, and lift the blockade of Gaza.
Israel has so far refused to apologize, although there is discussion
about Israel apologizing for “operational mishaps” that led to the loss
of lives. Nine Turkish citizens were killed on the Mavi Marmara
when some of the passengers on the ship attacked IDF commandos who landed on it to enforce the blockade.Herb Keinon contributed to this report.