South African Move on Settlement Goods Angers Israel

Relations between Israel and South Africa are looking to turn sour as Israel has accused South Africa of behaving like an apartheid state because the country currently requires that all Israeli goods made by West Bank settlers to be labelled as originating from occupied Palestinian territory.

South Africa’s ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC) were at the forefront of the struggle to end the apartheid regime and have publicly backed the Palestinian cause, while Israel was one of the few countries to continue their relationship with the apartheid government.

Israeli imports do not account for a large percentage of South Africa’s trade, however with the country’s decision to begin labelling the goods this way, Israel is now concerned that other countries could follow their example and strengthen the Palestinian movement to boycott Israeli products made in the West Bank.

In response to the decision by South Africa, Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said, “Unfortunately it turns out the change that has begun in South Africa over the years has not brought about any basic change in the country, and it remains an apartheid state. At the moment South Africa’s apartheid is aimed at Israel.”

The World Court has ruled that Jewish settlements in the West Bank are illegal under international law.

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