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Israel’s separation barrier has long been called ‘an apartheid wall’ by Palestinians

South Africa’s ruling party has blasted Israel as “a nation founded on apartheid”, calling the state’s establishment “a crime against humanity”.

In a weekend statement which Jerusalem described as “shocking,” Nelson Mandela’s successors joined other political and civil groups lobbying Israel.

The ANC, together with Communist Party, the Congress of South African Trade Unions and the South African National Civics Organization, said they would “now heighten our campaign aimed at boycotting and isolating Israel”.

The described Israel as “a state founded on the basis of apartheid, which according to international law and several UN conventions is a crime against humanity”.

It came ahead of a huge protest outside the South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) in Johannesburg, where Jewish leaders were holding a conference.

A statement from the South African Board said: “During the Apartheid years, although constituting a small minority of the population, the Jewish community played a disproportionate role in the struggle for democracy.”