Published: Fri, May 18, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

South Africa recalls ambassador to Israel after killing of protesters

South Africa recalls ambassador to Israel after killing of protesters

The unrest comes the day after Israeli forces killed dozens of Palestinians at a mass protest at the Gaza border, most by gunfire, and injured more than 2,700, according to Gaza health officials. In the face of bullet fire from the Israeli military, these protesters are armed with a daring courage to simply cross over the border into land that belongs to their families, but is now occupied by Israel.

Tuesday's lengthy ANC statement accused Israel of "crude viciousness", comparing it to South Africa's past apartheid regime.

Israel's establishment is referred to by Palestinians as the "Nakba" or "the Catastrophe".

"All South Africans must rise up and treat Israel like the pariah that it is".

Desai said Palestinians stood with South Africans during the struggle against apartheid and gave them resources to fight the white minority rule.

The statement also slammed Monday's "nonchalant and insensitive" inauguration of the new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, saying it "will forever be drenched in the blood of those innocent people, particularly the children as well as women who perished through the barrel of their guns".

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They said by withdrawing its envoy, Pretoria was missing an important opportunity of playing a role in the conflict resolution. "Our government must expel the ambassador of Israel".

They described South Africa's decision to withdraw its ambassador in Israel as "a victory only for extremism in the Middle East". "Barghouthi, known as the "Palestinian Mandela", is now serving his 16 consecutive year in prison". In this position, he was scheduled to host a reception at his Ramat Gan residence later this month.

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

Hamas welcomed South Africa's decision, calling on other nations to follow suit.

The anti-Zionist Neturei Karta organization has delivered a message of support and solidarity to Palestine as well as one of criticism and condemnation to Israel over its treatment of Palestinian civilians.

Over the last few days, several solidarity events have been held in South Africa in support of the Palestinian people.

Balton said that the American government's opening of its embassy in Jerusalem was a "clear indication of America and Israel's lack of commitment to peace in the region".

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