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Outgoing ESCWA chief mulling anti-Israel think tank

By JT - Apr 01,2017 - Last updated at Apr 01,2017

Rima Khalaf

AMMAN  — Rima Khalaf, former executive secretary of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) on Saturday announced that she and a group of Arab intellectuals were planning to establish a think tank dedicated to pursue the fight against violators of Arab rights, mainly Israel. 

Speaking to journalists at the Beirut Airport before leaving to Amman, Khalaf said that in addition to conducting research, the think tank would serve as an advocacy group to denounce the violations committed by Israel.

She explained the “fight” would be done through studies and legal actions against the occupation state, as well as cooperation with civil society institutions active in anti-normalisation efforts and the support of Palestinians’ rights, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

Khalaf came under the international spotlight following a dispute with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres over her organisation’s report on Israel’s “apartheid”.

On March 28, she announced her resignation, stating that Guterres had asked her to withdraw the report in which her agency accused Israel of being an “apartheid state”.

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

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