International Relations and Co-operation Minister, Naledi Pandor says South Africans stuck in Gaza, Palestine, and Israel, amid the ongoing conflict, are on the UN rescue list and ready to be moved out when the opportunity arises.
Earlier this week, South Africa recalled its diplomats from Israel to assess its relationship with the country.
According to Pandor, since the conflict broke out in last month, 120 South Africans in Israel and Palestine have contacted the respective South African missions to inform them of their presence and to express their needs.
Pandor was responding to IFP MP Mkhuleko Hlengwa’s written parliamentary questions on support provided to South Africans in Israel wishing to return home following the escalation of tension.
She said the South African embassies in Tel Aviv and Ramallah, and the consular services at the department's head office were hard at work monitoring, collecting information and liaising with South African nationals who might be in distress and in need of consular services.
“Several South African nationals had encountered problems flying out of Tel Aviv because of the interruption of air services after rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel last weekend.
“Distressed South African nationals in Gaza are on the United Nations (UN) rescue list and ready to be moved out of Gaza when the opportunity arises,” she said.
Meanwhile the SA Jewish Board of Deputies wants the government to urgently reconsider its “ill-considered, immoral and ultimately self-defeating stance” on the conflict in the Middle East.
But, the EFF wants South African to cut diplomatic ties with Israel.
Delivering her executive statement in Parliament on Tuesday, Pandor tabled a seven-step plan as part of resolving the conflict in the Middle East.
She said humanitarian corridors should be opened for aid and basic services to reach those in need.
“All parties to exercise restraint and desist from fuelling this unjust war and human suffering, including ceasing supply of weapons to the various parties,” she said.
Pandor also said all civilian hostages should be released and Israel and Palestine should resume dialogue facilitated by the UN, which should deploy a rapid UN force in Palestine to monitor the implementation of the ceasefire and cessation of hostilities.