South Africa Withdraws its Ambassador to Israel Following Gaza Killings
The South African government has condemned "in the strongest terms possible" the violence carried out by Israeli forces today against Palestinian protestors.
The South African government has withdrawn its ambassador to Israel, following the mass killing of Palestinian protestors today at the Gaza border.
Up to 55 Palestinians have been confirmed dead after Israeli forces fired on people peacefully protesting the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem. It's being called the deadliest attack in Gaza by Israeli forces since 2014.
In a statement released on Monday South Africa's Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) condemned Israel's actions "in the strongest terms possible."
DIRCO also announced its plans to remove its ambassador to Israel. "Given the indiscriminate and grave manner of the latest Israeli attacks, the South African government has taken a decision to recall Ambassador Sisa Ngombane with immediate effect and until further notice."
The statement further reiterated the country's stance on the Israel-Palestine conflict.
"As we have stated on previous occasions, South Africa reiterates its view that the Israeli Defence Force must withdraw from the Gaza Strip and bring to an end the violent and destructive incursions into Palestinian territories. South Africa maintains further that the violence in the Gaza Strip will stand in the way of rebuilding Palestinian institutions and infrastructure."
While South Africa has maintained its position in support of Palestine, a number of African countries joined in the celebration of the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem. A graphic from Haartez lists the nations that took part in today's celebrations, the list names 20 African nations total, including Cameroon, Nigeria, Tanzania, Rwanda, Congo, D.R.C, Ethiopia, Kenya and more.
Many on social media are praising South Africa's decision, and are urging other nations to follow in its example.