US

UN agency head resigns after Israel 'apartheid' report

The head of a Lebanon-based United Nations agency that promotes development in Arab countries has resigned, after refusing to withdraw a controversial report that concludes that Israel has established an "apartheid regime."

The report, which was published earlier this week by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, drew swift criticism from U.N. and Israeli officials. Its authors concluded that "Israel has established an apartheid regime that systematically institutionalizes racial oppression and domination of the Palestinian people as a whole."

Rima Khalaf, a Jordanian who heads the Beirut-based ESCWA, announced her resignation at a hastily-arranged press conference in the Lebanese capital Friday.

Khalaf has long been criticized by Israeli officials for her perceived anti-Israel positions.