Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu. File photo

Johannesburg - South Africans demonstrated in solidarity with Palestinians on Tuesday, a day after 60 were killed protesting the US embassy's move to Jerusalem, with anti-apartheid icon Archbishop Desmond Tutu declaring himself "brokenhearted."

The response in South Africa to the killings has been visceral, with the country withdrawing its ambassador to Israel on Monday and the ruling African National Congress (ANC) condemning Israel as an "apartheid regime."

"I am deeply distressed and brokenhearted by the massacre perpetrated by the State of Israel in Gaza yesterday," Tutu, a stalwart of South Africa's fight against racial inequality, said in a statement.

In Cape Town, home to much of South Africa's Muslim community, dozens marched to parliament. Several senior ANC officials were among the protesters.

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"The African National Congress ... once a target of a Nazi-like Apartheid regime, will never tolerate any system that treats and regards other human beings as insignificant," the party said in a statement.

"We would like to express to the Palestinian people that their suffering will not be in vain, and our freedom and liberation will never be complete until they are free," it added.

Sixty Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces during mass protests along the border on Monday. The demonstrations were fuelled by a controversial decision by US President Donald Trump to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.