posted on Fri 25 Mar 2011 10:40 AM
Insights on the Gaza Flotilla Incident Panel

The Panel met last week to examine the national reports of Turkey and Israel on the Gaza flotilla incident which took place on 31 May 2010. (The Secretary-General set up a Panel of Inquiry headed by former New Zealand Prime Minister, Geoffrey Palmer, in August 2010 to identify the facts, circumstances and context of the Gaza flotilla incident.)

The Panel had expected to produce a final report in February. However with the Israel report delayed and only being submitted on 23 January and Turkey requesting to provide an addendum to its original report on 11 February, it was not possible to meet the February deadline. It seems a final report may be submitted to the Secretary-General in May.

The September interim report was not circulated to Council members. At the time of the release of the interim report some Council members felt that the Council’s June 2010 presidential statement calling for an impartial investigation into the Gaza flotilla incident required that the final report be transmitted to the Council. However, it now seems that Council members are likely to be guided by the sense of the parties to the dispute and are unlikely to insist that the report be considered unless one of the parties requests for it.