South Africa Will Not Reinstate Ambassador to Israel, Recalled Over Gaza Deaths

Since the envoy was recalled in 2018, the embassy functioned as a representative office, mainly providing consular service

Noa Landau
Noa Landau
Medics and protester evacuate a wounded youth, who was shot by Israeli troops while marking the first anniversary of Gaza border protests, March 30, 2019.
Medics and protester evacuate a wounded youth, who was shot by Israeli troops while marking the first anniversary of Gaza border protests, March 30, 2019.Credit: Abdel kareem Hana / AP
Noa Landau
Noa Landau

South Africa will not reinstate its ambassador to Israel, who was recalled in 2018 in protest of the high death toll in Gaza, South African Foreign Affairs Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said on Friday.

Since the South African envoy was recalled, a move that weakened ties between the two countries, the embassy has been functioning as a representative office, mainly providing consular service. Ngombane's roles have been fulfilled by the embassy's consultant.

To really understand Israel and the Middle East - subscribe to Haaretz

"The South Africa government condemns in the strongest terms possible the latest act of violent aggression carried out by Israeli armed forces along the Gaza border," the Department of International Relations and Cooperation said in a statement released in 2018.

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

"The victims were taking part in a peaceful protest against the provocative inauguration of the US Embassy in Jerusalem," it said referring to the relocation of the American embassy to Jerusalem.

The South African government, which has long expressed support for the Palestinian cause, has for some time considered downgrading its representation to Israel.

Although condemnations of the deadly outcome of protests in Gaza has been widespread, South Africa was the first country to take concrete steps against Israel in its wake.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

Subscribe today and save 40%

Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

From the cover of 'Shmutz.'

'There Are Similarities Between the Hasidic Community and Pornography’

A scene from Netflix's "RRR."

‘RRR’: If Cocaine Were a Movie, It Would Look Like This

Prime Minister Yair Lapid.

Yair Lapid's Journey: From Late-night Host to Israel's Next Prime Minister

Lake Kinneret. The high water level created lagoons at the northern end of the lake.

Lake Kinneret as You’ve Never Experienced It Before

An anti-abortion protester holds a cross in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C.

Roe v. Wade: The Supreme Court Leaves a Barely United States

Yair Lapid.

Yair Lapid Is the Most Israeli of All