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Position of Israeli ambassador in SA ‘becoming very untenable’, says Cabinet

Neelam Rahim | neelam@radioislam.co.za

2-minute read
12 November 2023 | 09:08 CAT

South Africa recalled its diplomats from Israel – Image: TikTok

South Africa is taking a strong stance against the violence in the Gaza Strip. At a meeting between President Cyril Ramaphosa and his Cabinet held earlier this month, the Cabinet instructed the Department of International Relations and Cooperation to remove South African diplomats from Israel.

Cabinet gave its strongest indication that it might be mulling the removal of Israel’s ambassador, Eliav Belotsercovsky after Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni stated that Cabinet remained opposed to the continued airstrikes in Gaza.

Ntshavheni spoke directly to Belotsercovsky’s comments on the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas as going against his “invitation as a guest in this country”.

In another move to strengthen its diplomatic stance, the Cabinet has also instructed that all diplomats stationed in Tel Aviv should be withdrawn.

“The South African government has decided to withdraw all of its diplomats in Tel Aviv for consultation,” Ntshavheni said.

Speaking to Radio Islam International, NGO Africa4Palestine’s Muhammed Desai elaborated on South Africa’s diplomatic stance in favour of Palestine and opposition to Israel.

“South Africa currently does not have a functioning embassy in Israel since 2018, maintaining only a liaison office after a decision to close the embassy was taken by the African National Congress and took the resolution to downgrade diplomatic relations with Israel and withdrew the Ambassador from Tel Aviv,” Desai said.

“The decision by Cabinet to now remove all other remaining diplomats is celebrated by both South African civil South Society and also by the international community that South Africa stands on the right side of history,” Desai added.

Listen to the full interview on The Daily Round-Up with Moulana Junaid Kharsany.

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