South Africa ordena el regreso de todos los diplomáticos de Israel

South Africa has announced that it is bringing back all of its diplomats from Tel Aviv in response to Israel’s extensive air strikes on Gaza on Sunday night.

This bombing campaign represents one of Israel’s most intense attacks since the conflict began a month ago.

According to Gaza City’s Al-Shifa hospital, around 200 individuals lost their lives.

South Africa’s government, which has consistently shown its support for the Palestinian cause, strongly criticized Israel on Monday.

During a press conference, Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor declared that South Africa was withdrawing its diplomats, stating: “We are… deeply troubled by the ongoing killings of children and innocent civilians in the Palestinian territories, and we believe that Israel’s response has turned into one of collective punishment.

“It was crucial for us to express South Africa’s concern and continue to call for a comprehensive ceasefire.”

Israel maintains that it is attempting to minimize civilian casualties and accuses Hamas, the group that controls the Gaza Strip, of using non-combatants as human shields.

On October 7th, fighters from Hamas – classified as a terrorist organization by the UK, US, and other Western powers – killed over 1,400 individuals in Israel. They also took more than 230 hostages, including one South African citizen who remains unidentified.

Israel responded by pledging to dismantle Hamas and conducting numerous airstrikes in Gaza. According to the Hamas-run health ministry, more than 10,000 individuals have been killed since the siege began.

Lior Haiat, a spokesperson for the Israeli minister of foreign affairs, posted a response on X (formerly Twitter), stating that South Africa’s decision to recall its diplomatic staff was a “victory for the Hamas terrorist organization and rewards it for the massacre” carried out on October 7th.

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“Israel expects South Africa to condemn Hamas, which is worse than ISIS, and to respect Israel’s right to defend itself against an attack by a horrific terrorist organization that has ‘destruction of the State of Israel’ engraved on its flag,” Mr. Haiat wrote.

South Africa’s government has consistently supported the Palestinians in their conflict with Israel. The ruling African National Congress (ANC) frequently draws parallels between the Palestinian cause and its own struggle against apartheid.

Foreign Minister Pandor explained that recalling the diplomats is a “routine practice” and said that they would provide the government with a “full briefing.” After evaluating the situation, the government will determine whether it can offer assistance or if a “continued relationship is viable,” Ms. Pandor added.

In addition, South Africa’s cabinet accused Israeli Ambassador Eliav Belotsercovsky of making derogatory comments about South Africans, including government officials who had criticized the Israeli government.

“The ambassador’s disparaging remarks aimed at those who speak out against the atrocities, as well as the country’s leaders, render Ambassador Belotsercovsky’s position increasingly untenable,” the cabinet statement stated.

South Africa is not the first country to recall its diplomats from Israel in protest against the military operation in Gaza. Chad, Chile, and Colombia are among the countries that have already taken this step.

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