UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon informed Israel Sunday that he was postponing – yet again – the publication of the Palmer Commission report on the Mavi Marmara incident last year, to give both sides additional time to reach an agreement that would obviate the need to release the report.Has the UN ever delayed releasing any other reports at the request of one of the countries that gets blamed within?
As was the case the two previous times, the postponement was, according to Israeli officials, requested by Turkey.
The Palmer Commission report, which has already been written, is widely believed to uphold the legality of Israel’s naval blockade of the Gaza Strip, and its right to intercept vessels trying to break the blockade.
The paper also reportedly takes Israel to task for using disproportionate force in stopping the ship, but does not call on it to apologize for the incident.
Turkey is demanding that Israel apologize for the incident, pay compensation to the families of the nine people killed and lift the blockade of Gaza.
As Ha'aretz reported after the report was written in early July:
According to a political source in Jerusalem, the final findings of the Palmer Report show that the Israeli naval blockade on Gaza is legal and is in accordance with international law.
The report also sharply criticizes the Turkish government's behavior in its dealings with the committee. Palmer, an expert on international maritime law, added in the report that Israel’s Turkel commission that investigated the events was professional, independent and unbiased.
His findings on the Turkish committee were less favorable, with Palmer concluding that the Turkish investigation was politically influenced and its work was not professional or independent.
The Palmer Committee also criticizes the IHH organization that organized the Gaza flotilla as well as its ties to the Turkish government, suggesting Turkey did not do enough to stop the flotilla.
On the other hand, the Turkish Hurriyet newspaper has suggested that the report will say that the IDF had "intent to kill" people on the ship and that Israel had requested one of the delays of releasing the report.