The head of the United Nations' West Asia commission, Rima Khalaf, has resigned over what she described as the pressure to withdraw a report that was critical of Israel.
The report accused Israel of imposing an apartheid regime on Palestinians. Lebanon-based Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), which comprises 18 Arab states, published the report on Wednesday and said it was the first time a UN body had clearly made the charge.
"It was expected that Israel and its allies will exercise pressure on the UN secretary-general to distance himself from the report and that they will ask him to withdraw it," Khalaf said at a press conference in Beirut on Friday.
"The secretary-general issued his orders to me yesterday morning to withdraw the report. I asked him to review his position, but he insisted," she said. "Therefore, I submitted to him my resignation from the UN."
This is a woman of great moral courage, and has just become my brand new heroine.