Middle East

Palestinians give award to UN official who condemned Israel

The Palestinian president has awarded his people's highest honor to a former U.N. official who was forced to resign last week after authoring a report that accused Israel of establishing an "apartheid regime."

The official Palestinian news agency Wafa said Sunday that President Mahmoud Abbas had spoken to Rima Khalaf by phone and given her Palestine's Medal of the Highest Honor in recognition of her "courage and support" for the Palestinian people.

A statement said Abbas "stressed to Dr. Khalaf that our people appreciate her humanitarian and national position."

Khalaf, a U.N. undersecretary-general, resigned Friday after refusing to withdraw her report for the U.N. Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia.