South Africa tells UN: Israel is only apartheid state in the world today

The South African government has described Israel as the only apartheid state in the world, in remarks made at a session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva. Speaking during Israel’s Universal Periodic Review, a process by which every UN member has its human rights record assessed every five years, South Africa’s representative said that Israel is the “only state in the world that can be described as an apartheid state”. The comments were quoted in a tweet by John Fisher, Geneva director of Human Rights Watch. Speaking ahead of the meeting, Fisher’s colleague at Human Rights Watch, Omar Shakir, said that the global rights NGO had conducted its own review of Israel’s record, finding that Israel has “carried out war crimes”, as well as “institutional discrimination against Palestinians”. Other member states, including Germany, highlighted and criticised Israel’s policies of “collective punishment” in the occupied Palestinian territory, such as house demolitions.

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