ESCWA head resigns following report calling Israel an “apartheid state”

The head of the U.N.’s Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, which comprises of 18 Arab countries, resigned on Friday after pressure from the United States and U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to retract a report calling Israel “an apartheid state.”

The report, which blasted Israel’s activities in the Gaza strip and the West Bank, was released without consent from the U.N. Secretariat and as such was not allowed to be published, said Guterres’s spokesperson. Guterres asked Rima Khalaf, who approved the report’s release, to retract it.

Israel’s spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry drew comparisons between the report and Nazi propaganda, calling it “anti-Semitic.” Meanwhile, the Trump administration also lobbied for the report’s removal.

Khalaf submitted her resignation to Guterres, who accepted it. During her resignation, she maintained the findings of the report, and denounced Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories.

The report has since been removed from the U.N.’s website.

(Image: Chatham House)

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