Conflicting reports emerge over UN flotilla probe release

Official source: Report is imminent, might be as soon as this week; Chinese news agency reports: Publication of findings delayed.

By GIL STERN STERN SHEFLER, REUTERS
July 6, 2011 19:27
1 minute read.
'Mavi Marmara' under maintenance in Istanbul.

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

 
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Conflicting reports emerged on Wednesday over whether the much-delayed United Nations report on the flotilla to Gaza last year would be released soon.

One official told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday that the report probing the incident in which nine Turkish activists were killed in a battle with Israeli soldiers is imminent, perhaps as soon as Thursday.

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Other reports quoting the Chinese news agency said the publication of the committee’s findings had been delayed again, citing Turkey’s insistence that Israel make an official apology.

Last August, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed a panel headed by former New Zealand Prime Minister Geoffrey Palmer to investigate the incident which took place on a boat which tried to break Israel’s blockade of the Hamas-held Palestinian territory

Earlier on Wednesday, the German Ambassador to the UN and current president of its Security Council Peter Wittig told reporters at a press conference he had no knowledge about when the report would be completed.

"I don't think we are yet at the point where the report would be handed over - when that happens obviously we'll let you know," he was quoted by Reuters as saying.

Meanwhile, Wittig said the possibility of Palestine becoming a United Nations member state may come up during in an open debate scheduled for July 26.

The Arab League has said it would request UN membership for a Palestinian state in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, with East Jerusalem as its capital at the UN General Assembly in September.



"I think (that) will be an occasion to explore the various options that might exist on the Palestinian side," said Wittig.

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