A United Nations report scheduled to be published this week on the May, 2010 flotilla fiasco between Israeli commandos and violent demonstrators in the Mediterranean Sea has been delayed for a third time.
The UN's Palmer Report is an inquiry into the events surrounding the Israeli raid of the Turkish-IHH sponsored Mavi Marmara ship during last year's flotilla to Gaza, which lead to the death of nine activists.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told Israeli officials Sunday that he was postponing the publication of the report to give Israel and Turkey time to reach an agreement in order to prevent the need to release it. According to Israeli officials, Turkey requested the delay.
Turkey is demanding that Israel issue a formal apology over those killed in the raid. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Sunday that if Israel does not issue a formal apology, he will consider moving to a "Plan B" which will lead to a downgrade in diplomatic relations between the two countries. "Plan B" would also include an anti-Israel campaign at the UN, as well as encouraging the families of the raid's victims to file suits against senior Israeli figures.
The Turkish prime minister, who supports Hamas, is also considering visiting the Gaza Strip, which could further complicate relations between the two countries.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said last week that Israel does not plan to apologize despite diplomatic pressure from the United States. "I agree to express regret and to pay compensation, but an apology won't restore the relations with Turkey to what they were before in any case," the Israeli newspaper Haaretz quoted Netanyahu as saying.