First Published: 2017-03-16

UN report says Israel imposes apartheid on Palestinians
Furious United States demands UN withdraw report saying Israeli state is 'guilty of policies and practices that constitute the crime of apartheid.'
Middle East Online

Pro-Palestinian activist paints banner at Israeli Apartheid Week 2017 event, in Johannesburg, South Africa

LONDON - The United States on Wednesday demanded that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres withdraw a report by a UN body accusing Israel of imposing apartheid on the Palestinians.

Guterres distanced himself from the report by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) but US Ambassador Nikki Haley said it should be scrapped altogether.

"The United States is outraged by the report," said Haley in a statement.

"The United Nations secretariat was right to distance itself from this report, but it must go further and withdraw the report altogether."

The study concluded that "available evidence established beyond a reasonable doubt that Israel is guilty of policies and practices that constitute the crime of apartheid."

Based in Beirut, ESCWA is comprised of 18 Arab countries, according to its website, which lists the state of Palestine as a full member, and works to strengthen cooperation and promote development.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said "the report as it stands does not reflect the views of the secretary-general" and was done without consultations with the UN secretariat.

One of the authors is Richard Falk, a former special UN rapporteur on Palestinian human rights.

"That such anti-Israel propaganda would come from a body whose membership nearly universally does not recognize Israel is unsurprising," said Haley.

She described Falk as "a man who has repeatedly made biased and deeply offensive comments about Israel and espoused ridiculous conspiracy theories".

Haley has accused the United Nations of being biased against Israel and has vowed as President Donald Trump's envoy to staunchly defend Israel at the world body.

Israel's ambassador Danny Danon condemned the report, describing it as an "attempt to smear and falsely label the only true democracy in the Middle East by creating a false analogy."

Danon said to label Israel as an apartheid regime was "despicable" and "a blatant lie."

The report found that Palestinians were subjected to a "strategic fragmentation" that allowed Israel to impose "racial domination" with different sets of laws by geographic regions.

The analysis showed "beyond a reasonable doubt" that "Israel is guilty of imposing an apartheid regime on the Palestinian people, which amounts to the commission of a crime against humanity."

The furor came ahead of a Security Council meeting next week to hear the first report from the United Nations on implementing a resolution demanding an end to Israeli settlement building.

 

Iraqi Kurds may postpone referendum in return for concessions

Assad says no Syria ties for countries backing rebels

Rouhani says top priority is protecting nuclear deal from US

Iraqi-Arab Gulf rapprochement makes headway

In Egypt, Syrian refugees recreate Syria

In African tour, Sisi seeks to rebuild ties, address security and water concerns

Syria’s transition scenarios for future rounds of talks

Dubai real estate market sets the pace for renewed growth in the GCC

German-Turkish intellectual held at Ankara’s request

Jordan’s municipal elections marred by deaths, riots

Russia doubts IS claim of stabbing attack in northern city

Turkey slams 'arrogant' German reaction to Erdogan poll call

Police confirm Finland 'terror attack'

Spain hunts suspects as IS claims attack

Aid project helps Syria refugees feel at home in Jordan

Lebanese army launches anti-IS offensive on Syria border

UN demands access to Yemen ports

Low-cost attacks a new reality for Europeans

Forces of Libya's Haftar say commander wanted by ICC in detention

Yemen rebels urged to free political commentator

Iranian footballer breaks silence over ban for playing Israelis

Erdogan meddles in German politics

IS fighters almost encircled in Syrian desert

For Israel, White House ties trump neo-Nazis and antisemitism

Israel freezes implementation of settlement law

Saudi Arabia installing cranes at Yemen ports

13 dead, 100 injured in two Spanish seaside city attacks

Iran reform leader ends hunger strike

Van ploughs through pedestrians in Barcelona terror attack

13 killed in Barcelona van attack

Iraq acknowledges abuses in Mosul campaign

Netanyahu under fire for response to US neo-Nazism

Israel to free high-profile suspects in money laundering probe

Spanish police shut down jet-ski migrant smugglers

Syrian actress, activist Fadwa Suleiman dies in Paris

Israeli court extends detention for Islamic cleric over ‘incitement’

UAE to provide $15 million a month to Gaza

Sudan's Bashir 'satisfied' with Nile dam project

US-backed rebels say American presence in Syria to last ‘decades’

Tunisian clerics oppose equal inheritance rights for women

Israel strikes almost 100 Hezbollah arms convoys in 5 years

UN hopes for eighth round of Syria talks before year’s end

LONG READ: How Syria continues to evade chemical weapons justice

Civilians killed in US-led raids on Raqa

Qatari pilgrims begin flooding into Saudi by land