Tuesday, August 23, 2011

UN once again delays flotilla report

On May 31, 2010, Israeli commandos attacked the six-vessel Gaza Freedom Flotilla in international waters. (File photo)

Source: Press TV

The United Nations has for the third time postponed the release of a report on Israel's deadly attack on the Gaza-bound international aid flotilla in 2010.

The UN's findings about the brutal incident, which left nine Turkish activists dead and dozens of others wounded, was expected out this week.

According to Turkish foreign ministry, Israel is behind the delay in the publication of the long-awaited UN report, also known as the Palmer report.

"The demand to postpone (the announcement) came from Israel, like the previous demands," Selcuk Unal, the spokesperson for the Turkish foreign ministry told Turkey's Anatolia news agency on Monday.

This is while Israeli media claimed that Ankara had demanded the delay.

Tel Aviv has been hard trying to mend its damaged relations with Ankara before the publication of the UN report.

Turkey has repeatedly said that relations between the two sides can only be restored if Tel Aviv apologizes for the attack, compensates the families of those killed and the injured, and lifts its crippling blockade on the Gaza Strip.

Israel has reportedly agreed to a payout but is resisting calls to apologize, proposing instead to express regret.

Last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that Tel Aviv ''definitely will not apologize to Turkey'' over the flotilla attack.

On May 31, 2010, Israeli commandos attacked the six-vessel Gaza Freedom Flotilla in international waters to prevent the convoy from breaking the crippling Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip.

In the assault, nine Turkish nationals, including a teenager with dual Turkish-US citizenship, were killed and dozens of others were left wounded.

Turkey said that some of the victims had been shot "execution-style" at point-blank.

Turkish post-mortem examinations also revealed that a total of 30 bullets were found in the bodies of the nine dead activists. One of the activists had been shot four times in the head.

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