The publication of a United Nations report on the events of the 2010 Gaza flotilla has been delayed for a third time, a senior Israeli official said Sunday, in order to allow Israel and Turkey to continue negotiations in an effort to end the diplomatic crisis between them.
The official said that the UN report on Israel's seizure of a Turkish ship that participated in last year's Gaza flotilla was due to be published next Wednesday, but following an Israeli request, its release date was delayed by another three weeks to August 20.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak already hinted Saturday that the UN report will be delayed. "I hope we do not need to discuss it this week and we will be given more time to examine the issues in depth," he said.
A forum of the eight senior-most Israeli ministers was due to meet in Jerusalem on Sunday to decide whether to accept the draft of an agreement aimed at ending the diplomatic crisis with Turkey. However on Sunday afternoon, the ministers were told the subject was changed and the meeting will cover regular defense issues.
It is unclear whether the delay of the discussion is a result of a progress in talks with Turkey or the consequence of a setback in talks. Some Israeli officials believe that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu preferred to give up the discussion at this point in order to prevent any leaks that could have harmed negotiations with Turkey.