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Israel worse than apartheid SA - Kasrils

Published May 10, 2007

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Intelligence Minister Ronnie Kasrils on Thursday accused Israel of conducting a policy against the Palestinians that was "worse" than apartheid.

Speaking on the sidelines of a UN meeting on the situation in the Palestinian territories, Kasrils said South Africa's townships had never been attacked by helicopter gunships and tanks, in contrast to the military means employed by Israel.

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"The analogy between apartheid and Israel's occupation of Palestine is often made. It is not the same thing. The occupation is absolutely worse," Kasrils told reporters.

"It is important that we tell the Israeli authorities they are behaving like fascists when they do certain things, although we are not calling it a fascist state."

Kastrils called on the United States and European Union to lift their economic and political embargo of the Palestinian Authority now that Hamas and Fatah have joined in a government of national unity.

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He said the meeting would, among things, prepare for demonstrations marking the 40th anniversary year of the Israel occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.

Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian observer at the United Nations, said the gathering had been organised in Pretoria to deliver lessons from South Africa about how it had dismantled apartheid.

"An unjust system was defeated here and they have been elsewhere. We can do it in Palestine too," he said.

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"The cracks are showing in the Israeli occupation. They tried to break the Palestinian Authority but they were unable to." - Sapa-AFP

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