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

Rima Khalaf resigned as head of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) on Friday after the UN Secretary-General asked her to block the report, which has since been removed.

In a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Khalaf said, "I do not find it surprising that such member states, who now have governments with little regard for global norms and values of human rights, will resort to intimidation when they find it hard to defend their unlawful policies and practices".

Khalaf told a news conference in Beirut: "The secretary general asked me yesterday morning to withdraw [the report]". "We will continue to remain grateful to Dr. Khalaf for assuming a principled and courageous stand on behalf of the people of Palestine".

United Nations chief Antonio Guterres accepted the resignation of Khalaf, a Jordanian national, his spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters in NY, while denying that the secretary general had acted under USA pressure.

Repeated U.S. -led attempts to negotiate a solution by setting up a Palestinian state alongside Israel, roughly in the 1967 lines, have failed.

"Every government in the world. considers the [Israeli] settlements to be illegal and a crime against humanity, but this doesn't translate into any action other than arming Israelis or giving them very very lucrative. trade deals", the analyst said on Sunday.

Al Jazeera's Imtiaz Tyab said, however, it was "highly unlikely" that United Nations leadership was unaware of the report's existence or its content prior to its publication.

US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley also praised the resignation and condemned the report.

Abbas said Palestinians appreciated Khalaf's humanitarian and national stances as she refused to cover up crimes committed by the Israeli occupying authority against the Palestinian people.

Ofir Gendelman, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's spokesman, said on Twitter Abbas was waging "a diplomatic war on Israel" by announcing the award, describing the report as "libelous and false".

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