'South Africa to Reinstate Israel Envoy, After Recalled Over Gaza Flotilla'

Government reiterates call for international probe and end to Gaza siege, but says ambassador needed to monitor developments in Middle East.

South Africa has decided to reinstate its ambassador to Israel nearly two months after recalling him to protest the deadly naval raid on a Turkish-flagged ship carrying aid to the Gaza Strip, AFP reported on Tuesday.

In its statement to that effect, the South African foreign ministry said that it would still support calls for international probe into the commando raid that killed nine Turkish citizens on May 31.

Gaza flotilla
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"South Africa reiterates its call that any investigation should be a 'prompt, impartial, credible and transparent', in line with UN recommendations," said the statement, adding that it urged Israel to lift its blockade of the Gaza Strip "which is causing untold suffering to thousands of innocent civilians."

South Africa had decided to send Ambassador Ismail Coovadia back to Tel Aviv so that he could monitor developments in the Middle East, the statement clarified.