The head of a Lebanon-based United Nations agency that promotes development in Arab countries resigned Friday after pressed over a report concluding that Israel has established an apartheid regime that discriminates against Palestinians.
The report titled "Israeli Practices Toward the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid," was published earlier this week by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia. Its authors had concluded that "Israel has established an apartheid regime that systematically institutionalizes racial oppression and domination of the Palestinian people as a whole."
Rima Khalaf, a Jordanian who heads the Beirut-based ESCWA, announced her resignation at a press conference in the Lebanese capital Friday.
She described the report as "the first of its kind," adding that it "concludes scientifically and according to international law that Israel has established an apartheid regime."
"It was expected, naturally, that Israel and its allies would exercise immense pressure on the U.N. secretary general to distance himself from the report and to ask for it to be withdrawn," she said. Khalaf said U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres instructed her on Thursday morning to withdraw the report.
"I asked him to review his position but he insisted on it. Based on that, I submitted to him my resignation from the United Nations," she said, according to AP.