New York, New York - In response to media inquiries, PLO Executive Committee Member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi said:
“We denounce the decision by the United Nations to remove the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) report from its website which concluded that “Israel is guilty of policies and practices that constitute the crime of apartheid as legally defined in instruments of international law.” Instead of succumbing to political blackmail or allowing itself to be censured or intimidated by external parties, the UN should condemn the acts described in the report and hold Israel responsible.
Such a report constitutes a step in the right direction and highlights the true reality on the ground which is one of apartheid, ethnic cleansing and military occupation. 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 international law and human rights.
We also extend our deep appreciation to Dr. Rima Khalaf whose resignation from her post as UN ESCWA Executive Secretary should have never been accepted by UN Secretary-General Guterres. We will continue to remain grateful to Dr. Khalaf for assuming a principled and courageous stand on behalf of the people of Palestine."