Smoke rises following what police said was an Israeli air strike in Gaza City. Picture: Ahmed Zakot

Johannesburg - Pressure on the South African government to isolate Israel further is mounting.

On Tuesday, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) called for the immediate expulsion of Israel’s ambassador in South Africa, Arthur Lenk, and the recall of South Africa’s ambassador to Israel, Sisa Ngombane, mainly because of the Israeli Defence Force’s bombing of Palestinians in the “besieged” Gaza Strip.

Numsa also cited “ongoing administrative detentions, house raids, and murder of Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem” and rejected “the Israel apartheid State’s pretext that the military attacks in Gaza are acts of self-defence”.

Numsa backed Palestinian civil society’s call for an immediate full military embargo and a ban on imports of goods made in Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

It also called on Pretoria and other members of the Non-Aligned Movement to support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel until it ended its occupation of the West Bank including East Jerusalem; dismantled the “Apartheid Wall”; acknowledged the right of return of Palestinian refugees; relinquished its nuclear weapons, and acceded to the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

“We lend our unequivocal support to the Palestinian people in Gaza as they face and resist the military nuclear power of Israel with no official military of its own. The Israeli apartheid regime fails to acknowledge the true origins of Palestinian resistance - the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land.”

Numsa said it would join the BDS Nelson Mandela Day protest on Friday at the Israeli embassy trade office in Sandton.

Pretoria News