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United Nations deletes 'apartheid' report on Israel from website, top official resigns
20 March 2017, 12:45 | Candice Butler
Palestinians hail UN report declaring Israel an apartheid state
In an institutional communiqué, OIC Secretary-General Yousef Al Othaimeen expressed his solidarity with Jordanian diplomat Rima Khalaf, who resigned as Deputy Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA).
Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah denounced the United Nations as weak after the withdrawal of a report accusing Israel of imposing an "apartheid regime" on Palestinians.
"The secretary general asked me yesterday morning to withdraw the report", she said during a press conference from Beirut.
A Palestinian rights activist, Omar Barghouti, described the report as potentially the "first beam of light that ushers the dawn of sanctions against" Israel.
UN Spokesman, Stephane Dujarric stressed to the media that the issue was not the content of the report, but rather the process used in publicizing it.
She also called on UN Secretary General Antonio 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". "Her removal from the United Nations is long overdue".
"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 global law and human rights".
"It is only normal for criminals to pressure and attack those who advocate the cause of their victims", Khalaf wrote in her resignation letter.
Both Israel and the United States welcomed Kahlaf's resignation.
The US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, said on Friday that Khalaf's resignation was appropriate and Israel's UN ambassador Danny Danon said it was "long overdue".
For her part, Khalaf remains unrepentant, acknowledging that the report had still been seen and circulated.
As of shortly after noon Friday, a previous link to the report yielded an error message and the report was not listed among the publications on the website for the ESCWA, an agency based in Beirut, Lebanon that is comprised of 18 Arab member states, including what is identified as the State of Palestine.
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