United Nations says Israel inflicts 'apartheid regime' on Palestine

United Nations says Israel inflicts 'apartheid regime' on Palestine

A United Nations report co-authored by anti-Israel scholar Richard Falk on Wednesday accused the USA ally of being "guilty of the crime of apartheid" - triggering a furious response from the Trump administration, which demanded the U.N.

The United States, an ally of Israel, said it was outraged by the report.

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.

"Any delay compounds the crime by prolonging the subjugation of Palestinians to the active practice of apartheid by Israel", the report states.

The ESCWA, established in August 1973, comprises 18 Arab nations in West Asia, and works to strengthen cooperation between the member nations. "We call on the Secretary-General to disassociate the United Nations from this biased and deceitful report", he said in reference to ESCWA Executive Secretary Rima Khalaf, a Jordanian national.

"The attempt to smear and falsely label the only true democracy in the Middle East by creating a false analogy is despicable and constitutes a blatant lie", Israel's United Nations ambassador Danny Danon said in a statement.

"The secretary-general demanded yesterday that I withdraw the report, and I refused", she said, going on to say: "I believe that discrimination on the basis of skin colour, religion or ethnicity is unacceptable".

The report concluded, "Israel has established an apartheid regime that dominates the Palestinian people as a whole".

"However, only a ruling by an worldwide tribunal in that sense would make such an assessment truly authoritative", it added.

Palestinians seek diplomatic recognition for their independent state on the territories of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, which is partially occupied by Israel, and the Gaza Strip.

The new finding divides Palestinians into four groups oppressed through "distinct laws, policies and practices".

United Nations spokesman Stephane Dujarric told Reuters reporters in NY that the report as it stands does not reflect the views of the secretary-general, but those of the ESCWA authors Richard Falk and Virginia Tilley.

In December previous year, the UN Security Council passed a resolution censuring Israel for its settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories after the United States refused to veto it, reversing its longstanding policy of shielding the Israeli regime from condemnatory resolutions at the world body.

A week ago, the Israeli Security Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, asked the USA dministration to pull out of the UN Human Rights Council and to stop its support of UNRWA's activities, claiming that these organizations "are not filling their intended goals but rather the Human Rights Council is busy slandering Israel and attempting to harm it by distorting reality".