Israel has recalled Ambassador Eliav Belotserkovsky ‘for consultations’ as Parliament was expected to vote on Tuesday on whether to close the Israeli embassy in South Africa. Meanwhile, President Cyril Ramaphosa was due to lead a BRICS discussion on the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.
Israel has recalled its ambassador to South Africa after strong criticism by Pretoria and the ANC of Israel’s continuing military assault on Gaza.
The Israeli government has recalled Ambassador Eliav Belotserkovsky “for consultations” following the “latest statements from South Africa”, Israel’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lior Haiat said on Monday in a post on X, formerly Twitter.
He did not specify the statements, but the SA government and ANC have been growing increasingly critical of Israel as the war in Gaza unfolds and the death toll mounts.
Pretoria recently announced that it was recalling all of its diplomats from its embassy in Tel Aviv and it issued a démarche — a very stern form of diplomatic rebuke — to Belotserkovsky. It has also referred Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the International Criminal Court.
Israel’s decision on Monday to recall Belotserkovsky came a day before Parliament was expected to vote on an EFF motion calling upon “the government to close the Israeli Embassy in South Africa and suspend all diplomatic relations with Israel”.
Daily Maverick’s Marianne Merten has reported that while the ANC supported the motion in principle, the ruling party and the government were unlikely to support…