Published: Mon, March 20, 2017
Science | By Kerry Wheeler

Facing flagging support, Hezbollah criticises United Nations as 'weak' over Israel apartheid report

Facing flagging support, Hezbollah criticises United Nations as 'weak' over Israel apartheid report

"We expected of course that Israel and its allies would put huge pressure on the secretary general of the United Nations so that he would disavow the report, and that they would ask him to withdraw it", she added.

"Therefore, we call on UN Secretary-General António Guterres to do what is right, reinstate the ESCWA report and undertake serious and concrete measures to hold Israel accountable for its persistent violations of worldwide law and human rights".

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.

United Nations spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the report was published without consultation with the United Nations secretariat. "This is about the secretary-general having the authority to manage the organization in a way that is done effectively and can deliver on its goals".

Mahmoud Nawajaa of the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee, said Palestinians are "deeply grateful" to Khalaf "who preferred to resign in dignity than to surrender her principles to US-Israeli bullying".

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The announcement from the office of the Palestinian president said that he had spoken personally with Rima Khalaf and thanked her for her support for the Palestinian people.

The Beirut-based commission slammed Israel's Law of Return, "conferring on Jews worldwide the right to enter Israel and obtain Israeli citizenship regardless of their countries of origin and whether or not they can show links to Israel-Palestine, while withholding any comparable right from Palestinians, including those with documented ancestral homes in the country", as a policy of "demographic engineering" meant to uphold Israel's status as the Jewish state.

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

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

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".

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