Khalaf: “I resigned because it is my duty not to conceal a clear crime.”
On Friday, just two days after the UN's Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) released a report accusing Israel of imposing an "apartheid regime" in Palestine, UN Undersecretary-General and ESCWA Executive Secretary, Rima Khalaf resigned from her position, during a press conference in Beirut, Lebanon.
Khalaf explained that she stood by her assessment of the report, which also urged governments to support the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, and found herself unable to accept the pressure that was being placed on her to withdraw it.
In her resignation letter to the UN Khalaf wrote: "it is only normal for criminals to pressure and attack those who advocate the cause of their victims," Reuters reported.
The UN accepted Khalaf's resignation on Friday and Israel welcomed the move.
In the wake of her decision, Khalaf received tremendous support on social media, where she was hailed for her courage.
Khalaf was also awarded the highest Palestinian honour
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has awarded Khalaf the highest Palestinian honor.
According to local Palestinian media, Abbas had spoken to Khalaf by phone and given her Palestine's Medal of the Highest Honor in recognition of her "courage and support" for Palestinians.
A statement said Abbas "stressed to Dr. Khalaf that our people appreciate her humanitarian and national position," Al Jazeera reported.