The leader of Hamas in Gaza has made clear his movement's rejection of the UN Palmer Report into Israel's attack on the Freedom Flotilla in May 2010. According to Mahmoud Zahar, the report which calls Israel's naval blockade of Gaza "legitimate", flies in the face of international law and opinion.
"This report is a public relations exercise for Ban Ki-moon to extend his position [as UN Secretary General]," said Mr Zahar. "It is a whitewash to ease Israel's position after the embarrassment caused by the Separation Wall and illegal settlements." The whole world, he added, is against the blockade imposed by Israel, but this report "encourages" it to be kept in place. Zahar called on Arab and Muslim countries to take a strong stand against the UN's top official for his clear "double standards". The report, he said, is "pure Israeli".
Even though the report, produced by the former Prime Minister of New Zealand, Geoffrey described the naval blockade imposed by Israel on Gaza as "legitimate" and in line with international law, it encouraged Israel to offer financial compensation to the victims of the IDF attack on the Freedom Flotilla. In his conclusion, Palmer said that the Israeli decision to seize the ships with such force, and with no previous warning, was "unreasonable" and "excessive" force was used by the Israeli commandos. To this, Mr. Zahar asked rhetorically, "Is it okay to use force against innocent people, but not 'excessive' force?"
The Hamas leader called on Turkey to follow up the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador from Ankara by cutting relations with the Zionist state completely. Such a move, he said, would be logical in order for Turkey to assume its role in support of the people of Palestine.