Palestinians honour Rima Khalaf for apartheid report

Top UN official resigns over Israel apartheid report

UN agency head quits over report calling Israel an 'apartheid regime'

The member states received copies of this report.

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"Such a report constitutes a step in the right direction and highlights the true reality on the ground which is one of apartheid, ethnic cleansing and military occupation", she added.

Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said in a televised speech on Saturday that the incident served as a reminder of the "truth of this organization, that it's weak. and it succumbs to the will of the United States and Israel".

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has announced that he will be granting the highest Palestinian honor to a Jordanian diplomat who stepped down on Friday as the head of a United Nations commission over pressure to withdraw a report accusing Israel of apartheid.

Khalaf resigned from her position as the executive-secretary of the Lebanon-based commission after UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres asked that the controversial report be remove from the agency's website.

The report had accused that the "strategic fragmentation of the Palestinian people" was the main way Israel imposes apartheid, with Palestinian people oppressed through "distinct laws, policies and practices".

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

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

US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley also praised the resignation and condemned the report. "United Nations agencies must do a better job of eliminating false and biased work, and I applaud the secretary-general's decision to distance his good office from it".

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".

On the same day of the report's release, Khalaf said the "ignorance of the global community" in recent decades had "encouraged Israel to continue its abuses of worldwide law".

Khalaf, undersecretary general and executive secretary at ESCWA, announced her resignation on Friday, stating that the United Nations secretary general had asked her to withdraw a report in which she accused Israel of being an "apartheid state", Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported. "And it is available".

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