UNITED NATIONS - Israel on Tuesday protested the remarks of General Assembly President Miguel D'Escoto, a former foreign minister of Nicaragua, comparing the Israeli policies in the Occupied Palestinian Territory to "the apartheid of an earlier era", according to a UN official. The straight-talking assembly president made those remarks while opening a commemorative meeting for the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People on Monday. Denouncing Israeli policies in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Diescoro said, "We must not be afraid to call something what it is." He added that, after all, it was the United Nations that had passed the International Convention against the crime of apartheid. D'escoto told delegates in the General Assembly hall that it was important that the United Nations used that term. At the regular noon briefing on Tuesday, UN spokesperson Michele Montas was asked by a correspondent of Israeli radio whether Israel has lodged a protest with the world body over the assembly president's remarks. She said there have been many phone calls from the Israeli mission, but so far no written protest has been received. Asked whether Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon endorsed those remarks, she said the UN chief had no comments. "Those are the remarks of the assembly president," the spokesperson added. In his speech, D'escoto voiced his disappointment that a Palestinian State has not yet been established, calling it U.N.'s "greatest failure." "I believe that the failure to create a Palestinian State as promised is the single greatest failure in the history of the United Nations," he stated said on Monday. "It has been 60 years since some 800,000 Palestinians were driven out of their homes and property, becoming refugees and an uprooted and marginalized people." He noted that next month marks the 60th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which enshrines the right to self-determination. "We are witness to decades of the terrible conditions endured throughout the occupied Palestinian territory, yet the promise " the right " of the Palestinian people to a homeland remains as elusive as ever." Also pointing to the dire situation in Gaza, 'Escoto urged the international community to "raise its voice against this collective punishment of the people of Gaza." Further, D'escoto said the global community should spare no effort in assisting Israelis and Palestinians to reach a two-State solution, as enmity between them was a "self-perpetuating tragedy".