Israel, Turkey at odds over flotilla report


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Reconciliation talks between Israel and Turkey reportedly have broken down over a United Nations report on the May 2010 flotilla to Gaza.

The Palmer Report, completed Wednesday by a United Nations committee headed by former New Zealand Prime Minister Geoffrey Palmer, said Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza is legal, but it criticized Israeli naval commandos for using excessive force, the Israeli daily Haaretz and The New York Times reported, citing unnamed sources.

Nine Turkish citizens, including a dual Turkish-U.S. citizen, were killed when Israeli commandos boarded the Turkish-flagged Mavi Marmara in an attempt to prevent the ship from breaching the blockade.

The Palmer Committee is scheduled to deliver the report Thursday to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

The report reportedly criticized the Turkish government for its investigation of the incident and praised Israel’s Turkel Commission for its unbiased findings. The report did not call on Israel to apologize, but did recommend that Israel express regret for the incident, Haaretz reported.

Talks between Israeli and Turkish officials in New York reportedly broke down over Israel’s refusal to apologize.

Turkey withdrew its diplomats from Israel following the May 31, 2010 raid.

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