Cape Town - The Embassy of the State of Palestine in South Africa has become the latest to receive threats of attack after it received two phone calls this week from callers claiming its staff members were in danger.
The threats come a week after Palestine’s foreign affairs ministry demanded diplomatic protection to its embassies and missions globally, amid a sharp rise in threats and attacks.
In a statement yesterday, the embassy in South Africa said those responsible for the calls made explicit threats suggesting that its staff members could be in similar danger to the people of Palestine, who were experiencing a genocidal war.
“These threats will not be tolerated and have been reported to the relevant authorities as well as the senior management at the Department of International Relations and Co-operation (Dirco).
“The matter is being treated with the utmost seriousness and immediate measures have been taken to ensure the safety and security of our diplomatic mission and personnel,” the embassy said.
Dirco said such matters were reported to the Diplomatic Policing Unit (DPU) and other security agencies.
The DPU yesterday referred the Cape Argus to the SAPS, which said it needed a case number. The Embassy of Palestine in South Africa did not respond to further queries.
This comes as Palestine’s foreign ministry recently noted that in previous weeks, the Palestinian Mission to the UK filed several formal notices with the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and the British police after several death threats were made against Palestinian ambassador.
It further noted that the British government was responsible for the safety of the staffers.
“The Foreign Ministry reminds host nations of their responsibility to provide protection to our embassies and diplomatic missions as per the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (1961),” the ministry said.
Meanwhile, the embassy in South Africa has welcomed the announcement by International Relations and Co-operation Minister Naledi Pandor of the government’s seven action steps to bring peace to Gaza.
Pandor called for an immediate ceasefire; the opening of humanitarian corridors so that aid and other basic services reach all in need; the end of the supply of weapons to various parties; the release of all civilian hostages; the establishment of a Middle East nuclear weapons-free zone; the resumption of a comprehensive dialogue facilitated by the UN; and the deployment of a UN rapid deployment force in Palestine.