The leadership of South Africa's Council of African Independent Churches (CAIC) yesterday pledged its support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign.
Following a trip to Palestine, Deputy Secretary-General of the CAIC, Bishop Thami Ngcana, said:
The church leadership found Israeli abuses of Palestinian human rights to be appalling. Israel has mastered well from the South African apartheid regime and actually surpassed its architect, Hendrik Verword, through its design and application!
Ngcana stated that there were numerous Israeli activities which concerned him, including the building of illegal settlements, the establishment of checkpoints at which Palestinians regularly experience abuse, and the poverty Palestinians face in occupied territories such as Hebron.
"Every effort including BDS boycott of Israeli programmes should and must be pursued to dismantle this Israeli Apartheid."
The group called for the immediate withdrawal of the South African flag from the forest built by Israeli forces on the Palestinian village of Lubya, dubbed the "South African forest".
Last year the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa (UCCSA), with a membership of over 1,000 local churches, also joined the BDS movement in solidarity with Palestinians living under occupation.