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Israel envoy recalled from S Africa as Assembly to vote on closing Israeli embassy

Israel envoy recalled from S Africa as Assembly to vote on closing Israeli embassy

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa  | Photo Credit: AP 

Johannesburg: Israel has called its ambassador to South Africa, Eliav Belotserkovsky, back to Jerusalem “for consultations” before the African nation's parliamentary vote on Tuesday that would determine the future of the Israeli embassy.

Tensions in the two nations' diplomatic ties have lately increased as a result of Israel's attack on Gaza. Prior to this, South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa stated that his nation thought Israel was killing thousands of Palestinians in Gaza and committing war crimes and genocide there.

“Following the latest South African statements, the Ambassador of Israel to Pretoria has been recalled to Jerusalem for consultations,” Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs posted late Monday on X, formerly known as Twitter, Associated Press reported.

A motion to close the Israeli embassy and sever all links with Israel until a cease-fire is put into effect in Gaza was scheduled to be put to a vote in South Africa's parliament.

Several smaller parties, as well as the ruling African National Congress, support the resolution presented by the leftist opposition party Economic Freedom Fighters.

With its cabinet urging the International Criminal Court to issue an arrest warrant for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday, South Africa made headlines last week when it announced that it had sent the International Criminal Court an investigation into what it called Israel's "genocide" in Gaza.

South Africa declared last week that it had requested an inquiry into what it considered to be Israel's "genocide" in Gaza from the International Criminal Court. On Monday, the country's cabinet requested that the ICC issue an arrest warrant for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“Given that much of the global community is witnessing the commission of these crimes in real-time, including statements of genocidal intent by many Israeli leaders, we expect that warrants of arrest for these leaders, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, should be issued shortly," South African minister in the presidency, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, told reporters Monday.

South Africa withdrew all of its diplomatic personnel from Israel and recalled its ambassador earlier this month.

On Tuesday, leaders of the BRICS alliance, including Ramaphosa, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Chinese President Xi Jinping, will convene virtually to discuss the situation.

South Africa joined the economic bloc in 2010 after it was founded in 2009 by Brazil, Russia, India, and China. Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates are also to join BRICS.

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TAGS:South AfricaIsrael War in Gaza
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