In light of an increase in civilian fatalities from its conflict with the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, South Africa is returning ambassadors from Israel to evaluate its relationship with the nation, the country’s foreign minister announced on Monday.
South Africa, which supported the Palestinians and compared their situation to that of its own under the apartheid government that ended in 1994, has long been an advocate for peace in the Middle East.
Naledi Pandor referred to the recall of diplomats as “normal practice” and stated that it was done to ascertain “whether there is any potential for you to be of assistance and whether the continued relationship is actually able to be sustained in all terms.”
There isn’t an ambassador from South Africa in Israel. According to the foreign minister, the nation is “extremely concerned at the continued killing of children and innocent civilians” in Palestinian territories.
“We feel that Israel’s response has taken on the character of collective punishment,” the spokeswoman stated, adding that her nation will keep pushing for a complete peace in Palestine.
President Cyril Ramaphosa encouraged nations not to arm either side of the war last month at the Cairo Peace Summit. At the same time, the country’s foreign ministry requested the UN to send troops to Gaza to defend civilians.
South Africa has denounced the horrific Oct. 7 attack on southern Israel by Hamas, which claimed over 1,400 lives, and demanded the release of the captives.
Health officials in Gaza, which Hamas governs, have stated that since the start of the conflict, more than 10,000 Palestinians have died.
During a joint news briefing with her Ukrainian colleague Dmytro Kuleba, Pandor commented in Pretoria.
Two of the ten points—the repatriation of Russian children to Ukraine and the ongoing prisoner exchange—that were put up during the African peace effort to resolve the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, she claimed, have seen progress. The minister withheld any more information on the development.