UN Under-Secretary General Resigns Over Israeli 'Apartheid' Report

UN report accuses Israel of imposing ‘apartheid regime’ on Palestinians

In her announcement, Khalaf accused what she called "powerful member states" of using intimidation tactics to force the removal of the report.

"Instead of succumbing to political blackmail or allowing itself to be censured or intimidated by external parties, the United Nations should condemn the acts described in the report and hold Israel responsible", Ashrawi said in a statement.

On Wednesday, the United States demanded that Guterres withdraw an ESCWA report entitled "Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid".

NGOs, grassroots, and even Lebanon's Hizbollah, voiced support for outgoing UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia's (ESCWA) top official, Rima Khalaf, in her dispute with UN chief over her organisation's report on Israel's "apartheid".

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric had said that the report was put out on the commission's website without consulting the UN Secretariat.

Israel's UN Ambassador said that the resignation of the executive secretary of a UN agency that accused Israel of being an "apartheid regime", was "long overdue".

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has awarded the highest Palestinian honour to Rima Khalaf, a senior United Nations official who resigned on Friday amid pressure to withdraw a report that accused Israel of creating an apartheid state.

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The accusation-often directed at Israel by its critics-is fiercely rejected by Israel.

US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, reacted to Khalaf's resignation and said it was appropriate, Reuters reported.

"This is not about content, this is about process", Stephane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the United Nations Secretary-General, told reporters in NY on Friday.

She added, "It is normal for criminals to pressure and attack those who advocate the cause of their victims".

"I asked him to rethink his decision, he insisted, so I submitted my resignation from the United Nations".

United States envoy to the UN Nikki Haley, who had demanded the report's withdrawal last week, said in a statement: "When someone issues a false and defamatory report in the name of the U.S., it is appropriate that the person resign". "Let me be clear, the report was issued... and has impacts".

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