South Africa to Recall Ambassador to Israel for 'Consultations', Gov't Says
12:42 06.11.2023 (Updated: 14:24 06.11.2023)
Since the eruption of a fresh wave of violence between Israel and Palestine in early October, South Africa has repeatedly called for an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, describing the death toll in Gaza as "the result of unlawful actions by Israel".
South Africa will withdraw all its diplomats from Israel to express its concern over the situation in the Gaza Strip, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, a minister in the office of the president, states at a press briefing on Monday.
"Another holocaust in the history of humankind is not acceptable. The South African government has decided to withdraw all its diplomats in Tel Aviv for consultation," Ntshavheni said.
She also noted that airstrikes in Gaza and the West Bank continue to target schools, hospitals, ambulances and civilians, and "genocide under the watch of the international community cannot be tolerated".
Ntshavheni went on to say that, the Cabinet also noted the "continued disparaging remarks" by Israel's ambassador to South Africa about those who speak out "against the Israeli government's atrocities and genocide."
"The position of the ambassador of Israel to South Africa is becoming very untenable," she noted. " [The] Cabinet has decided to instruct Dirco [Department of International Relations and Cooperation] to take necessary measures within diplomatic channels and protocols to deal with the conduct of the ambassador of Israel to South Africa."
The government added that Israel, through its conduct against the Palestinian people, threatens the stability of the world system, and the US support for Israel "is enabling Israel to threaten the global system of good governance, which puts the global peace order on tenterhooks."
Earlier, Pretoria called on the UN to establish a rapid protection force to shield Palestinian civilians from further bombardment by Israel and stressed
that parties that encourage and support Israel's use of weapons must be held accountable for "aiding and abetting the breaches of international law."
Since the escalation between Israel and Palestine in early October. Bahrain, Chad, Chile, Colombia, and Jordan have recalled their ambassadors from Israel, with Bolivia cutting diplomatic ties with the Jewish state.
On October 7, Hamas launched a sudden massive rocket attack on Israel from the Gaza Strip. Breaching the border, killing, and kidnapping people in neighboring Israeli communities. Israel retaliated and imposed a complete blockade on the Gaza Strip, a home to more than 2 million people, cutting off water, food, and fuel supplies.
According to the Gaza authorities, the number of casualties in the Gaza Strip has exceeded 9,700, with more than 24,800 thousand people injured. In Israel, according to local authorities, more than 1,400 thousand people were killed, including 300 military personnel, and more than 5,000 people were injured.