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NEW YORK - United Nations General Assembly President Miguel D'Escoto Brockmann yesterday likened Israel's policies toward the Palestinians to South Africa's treatment of blacks under apartheid.

Israel's actions in the West Bank and Gaza Strip were like "the apartheid of an earlier era," said D'Escoto, of Nicaragua, speaking at the annual debate marking the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

He added: "We must not be afraid to call something what it is."

Israeli ambassador to the UN Gabriela Shalev in September called D'Escoto an "Israel hater" for having hugged Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a vocal enemy of Israel.

Meanwhile, other diplomatic attacks against Israel were expected today on the second day of the annual debate.