A UN panel’s report on Israel’s deadly raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla that killed nine Turkish activists is being delayed until late August because of differences between Israel and Turkey, the United Nations has said.
The report by the panel, which includes representatives from the two countries, was expected to be delivered to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon this month.
But U.N. spokesman Martin Nesirky said on Monday that “the members of the flotilla panel have agreed to delay finalising the report until later in the month of August.”
He said the decision was made after consultations between the secretary-general, the panel members and the Turkish and Israeli governments.
Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday ruled out a normalisation of ties with Israel until the Jewish state “officially apologises” for the raid. He also said relations cannot be improved unless Israel also pays compensation to the families of those who were killed and lifts its embargo on Gaza.
Israel’s Minister of Strategic Affairs Moshe Yaalon said last week that Israel will not apologise.
Mr. Nesirky said “the secretary-general continues to encourage the parties to reach a political resolution.”
The UN panel is chaired by former New Zealand Prime Minister Geoffrey Palmer, co-chaired by former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe and includes Israeli representative Joseph Ciechanover and Turkish representative Ozdem Sanberk.
Israeli commandos met unexpected resistance on May 31, 2010 when they tried to prevent a Turkish aid ship from breaking Israel’s blockade of Gaza. The commandos opened fire, killing eight Turkish activists and a Turkish American activist.
The flotilla raid drew an international outcry and forced Israel to ease its blockade of Hamas-ruled Gaza.