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Elham AbolFateh
AR
Monday 29 May 2017

Middle East

Palestinians give award to UN official who condemned Israel

Monday 20/March/2017 - 09:58 PM
Sada El Balad
Edited by Ahmed Moamar
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday awarded his people's highest honor to former U.N. Undersecretary General Rima Khalaf، who authored a report that accused Israel of establishing an "apartheid regime، as Israel Hayom said."
According to the Palestinian news agency Wafa، Abbas informed Khalaf by phone that she would receive the Palestine Medal of the Highest Honor in recognition of her "courage and support" for the Palestinian people.
A statement said Abbas "stressed to Dr. Khalaf that our people appreciate her humanitarian and national position."
Khalaf resigned as U.N. undersecretary general on Friday after refusing to withdraw her report for the U.N. Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia.
Its authors concluded that "Israel has established an apartheid regime that systematically institutionalizes racial oppression and domination of the Palestinian people as a whole."
The report was swiftly condemned by U.S. and Israeli officials، and U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres' office said it had been published without any prior consultations and did not reflect his views.
Khalaf، a Jordanian who headed the Beirut-based Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia، said she could not accept being subjected to pressure from Guterres to withdraw the report. The report has been removed from the commission's website.
In Jordan، government spokesman Mohammed Momani described Khalaf as a patriot who has held senior positions in the kingdom.
"We in Jordan view international reports about what the Palestinian people are being subjected to، from daily restrictions to injustice، as something that is in their interest،" he said.

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