JERUSALEM, Aug. 14 (UPI) -- Israel will seek clarification from South Africa in the wake of a deputy foreign minister's call for a boycott of travel to Israel, Israeli officials said.
In an interview Sunday with the weekly City Press, Ebrahim Ismail Ebrahim called Israel an "occupier country which is oppressing Palestine," adding it would be improper for "South Africans to associate with Israel."
His comments come just three months after South Africa's Department of Trade and Industry issued a memorandum, saying all products from Israeli settlements in the West Bank must not be labeled as Israeli products, The Jerusalem Post reported Tuesday.
"The truth is coming out. This is a public call for a boycott," Jonathan Rosenzweig, an Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman, told the Post.
Yigal Palmor, another Foreign Ministry spokesman, told The Times of Israel Web site Ebrahim's comments prove "our point."
"All their initiatives to mutually inform, as it were, the consumer, are nothing but a boycott in disguise," Palmor said.
The South Africa-Israel Public Affairs Committee issued a statement accusing Ebrahim of allowing "his personal agenda to drive South Africa's policy toward Israel to the detriment of South Africa and its economic well-being and international relations," the Post said.
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