PMO mum on report gov't requests Marmara report delay

August 28, 2011 22:18

Channel 2 reports Netanyahu told US that in 6 months time he expects to be stronger politically, better able to deal with consequences of report.

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'Mavi Marmara' under maintenance in Istanbul.

mavi marmara flotilla_311 reuters. (photo credit: Osman Orsal / Reuters)

The Prime Minister’s Office opted Sunday night not to respond to a Channel 2 report saying Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu asked the US to persuade UN Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon to delay publication of the Palmer Commission report on the Mavi Marmara incident by six months, because by then he might be stronger politically and able to apologize to the Turks for the incident.

The report – which was originally to have been released in May – was to have been issued last week, but was delayed again at Turkey’s request, and Israel’s agreement, to give both sides more time to come up with a formula that would repair ties that have deteriorated badly since the raid in 2010.

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But now, according to the Channel 2 report, Netanyahu wants even more time, saying that both because of the restraint he showed last week in response to the terrorist attack near Eilat and the continuing missiles from Gaza, and the continuous cost of living protests, he was not in a strong enough position politically to issue any type of apology.

But, according to this report, he said this could change in six months time.

While Defense Minister Ehud Barak has come out in favor of doing what it takes to mend fences with Turkey, both Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya’alon and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman are adamantly opposed.

The US, meanwhile, is believed to be pressing both Israel and Turkey to reach an accommodation, seeing good Israeli-Turkish relations as an American interest in the region.

The Palmer Commission completed its work a number of months ago, and the commission’s findings have been widely leaked and are believed to include upholding Israel’s legal right to maintain a naval blockade of the Gaza Strip, and its right to stop ships from breaking the blockade, along with criticism of the IDF for an “excessive” use of force in stopping the Mavi Marmara – an operation in which nine Turks who attacked IDF commandos who boarded the ship were killed.

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