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Recall of SA diplomats from Tel Aviv welcomed

Recall of SA diplomats from Tel Aviv welcomed. Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni Photo GCIS

Recall of SA diplomats from Tel Aviv welcomed. Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni Photo GCIS

Published Nov 6, 2023


Inkosi Zwelivelile Mandlesizwe Dalibhunga Mandela said he welcomed the recalling of South African diplomats from Israel.

The Presidency confirmed on Monday that South Africa had decided to withdraw its diplomats from Israel.

The Cabinet said it was also looking into the position of Israeli ambassador in the country.

Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni said the decision was taken following talks on the situation in Gaza.

Mandela said: “We welcome the recalling of South African diplomats from apartheid Israel, but more is needed. We will keep mobilising South Africans until the apartheid Israel ambassador is expelled and all diplomatic ties with apartheid Israel are cut.”

He said the recall was long overdue and applauded the Presidency and Minister of International Relations and Co-operation (Dirco) Naledi Pandor for this decisive action.

“We appeal to them to follow this up with expelling the apartheid Israeli ambassador and cutting all diplomatic ties in light of the flagrant disregard for international law, basic humanity and regard for the value of human life as outlined in the Geneva Convention.

“We are delighted to go to the solidarity march on Saturday, November 11 in the light of this announcement. We understand that this comes in the face of immense pressure from the powers of Western imperialism, especially the USA, UK, Germany and France, but we expect our political leadership to respond to the groundswell of cries of our people to support our brothers and sisters in Palestine as they face genocide in the full glare of the world,” said Mandela.

He said he hoped this action gave encouragement to the Palestinian people’s resistance and sent a message to the international community that the country still stood by the position that “our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinian people”.

“We call on all formations in South African society, political parties, worker formations, civic, community, youth and student formations to continue mounting pressure and protest actions until Palestine is free,” Mandela said.

During a Cabinet briefing today, Ntshavheni said they were disappointed that airstrikes in Gaza and the West Bank continued to target schools, hospitals, ambulances and civilians.

“As previously indicated, a genocide under the watch of the international community cannot be tolerated. Another holocaust in the history of humankind is unacceptable. The South African government has decided to withdraw all its deployments in Tel Aviv for consulting confrontation,” said Ntshavheni.

In addition, she said: “Cabinet has also noted this continuing disparaging remarks of the Israeli ambassador to South Africa, about those who are opposing the atrocities and the genocide of the Israeli government.

“This is despite the condemnation by the previous ambassadors of Israel to South Africa, who were clear that the acts of the Israeli government are a repeat of apartheid and not different to the apartheid antics.”

Ntshavheni said the position of the ambassador of Israel in South Africa was becoming untenable.

“Cabinet has decided to invite Dirco to take necessary measures within the diplomatic channels and protocols to deal with the conduct of the ambassador of Israel to South Africa,” she said.

The UN agencies have called for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in the war between Israel and Hamas.

Last month, the EFF picketed outside the Israeli embassy in Pretoria to call on the government to expel the Israeli ambassador to South Africa Eliav Belotserkovsky.

Then, the party said that if the ANC was serious about supporting the Palestinian people, it would disassociate the government from the state of Israel, economically and politically.

The ANC also said it welcomed the government’s move.

The party said the previous recall and consultation process implemented the resolution of the ANC’s 54th Conference to downgrade the embassy of South Africa in Tel Aviv to a liaison office.

“The genocidal actions of the Israeli regime on the people of Palestine in Gaza and the West Bank are crimes against humanity. We call for an immediate cease-fire,” said Mahlengi Bhengu-Motsiri.

“The ANC continues to pledge and intensify its solidarity with the people of Palestine for freedom, independence, justice, and equality.”