South Africa removes Israel ambassador over IDF’s ‘violent aggression’ in Gaza

The South African government is withdrawing its ambassador to Israel in response to the “violent aggression” by Israeli forces at the Gaza border, which saw 55, including six children, killed on Monday.

“The latest attack has resulted in scores of other Palestinian citizens reported injured, and the wanton destruction of property,”the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) said in a statement on Monday, as cited by Eyewitness News. “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.”

South Africa also repeated its view that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) must withdraw from the Gaza border and “bring to an end the violent and destructive incursions into Palestinian territories.”

The government also slammed the Israeli forces’ “routine actions,” which it says are an obstacle to peace. It stated that peace will “come in the form of two states, Israel and Palestine existing side-by-side and in peace.”

South Africa said it, like other members of the international community, is “disturbed by the latest deadly aggression and reiterates calls made by several members of the United Nations for an independent inquiry into the killings, with a view to holding to account those who are responsible.”

Israel has long been compared to South Africa during the Apartheid, in which black South Africans were subjected to racial segregation and discrimination from the 1950s until the early 1990s. A 2017 United Nations report accused Israel of establishing an apartheid regime that “oppresses and dominates the Palestinian people as a whole” in March. The report’s lead author resigned in protest after the report was removed from the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) website.

An international boycott of South Africa is said to have contributed towards pressuring the South African government. The organizers of the international Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel hopes its campaign could have a similar effect.

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