South Africa withdraws its ambassador to Israel “with immediate effect”

The South African government today condemned in the strongest terms possible the latest act of violent aggression carried out by the Israeli armed forces along the Gaza border, which has led to the deaths of 52 peaceful protesters against the provocative inauguration of the US embassy in Jerusalem.

A statement issued by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation said, “This latest attack has resulted in scores of other Palestinian citizens reported injured, and the wanton destruction of property.”

It added, “Given the indiscriminate and gravity of the latest Israeli attack, the South African government has taken a decision to recall Ambassador Sisa Ngombane with immediate effect until further notice.

As we have stated previous, 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.”

The government of South Africa further noted that routine actions of the Israeli armed forces present an obstacle to a permanent resolution to the conflict.

The statement concluded with a call from Pretoria “for an independent inquiry into the killings, with a view to holding to account those who are responsible.”

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