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Business News/ News / World/  ‘…continued killing of children’: South Africa recalls diplomats from Israel, condemns Gaza bombardment
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‘…continued killing of children’: South Africa recalls diplomats from Israel, condemns Gaza bombardment

‘We believe the nature of response by Israel has become one of collective punishment,’ South African foreign Naledi Pandor said.

South African foreign minister Naledi Pandor (right) made the remarks against Israel while addressing the press with her Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba (left) in Pretoria, South Africa, November 6, 2023. (Jacoline Schoonees/DIRCO/Handout via REUTERS) (via REUTERS)Premium
South African foreign minister Naledi Pandor (right) made the remarks against Israel while addressing the press with her Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba (left) in Pretoria, South Africa, November 6, 2023. (Jacoline Schoonees/DIRCO/Handout via REUTERS) (via REUTERS)

South Africa on November 6 announced that it is recalling diplomats posted in Israel, amid the latter's ongoing war against the Palestinian militant group Hamas.

The move is aimed at reassessing the country's relationship with Israel, which has come under intense criticism for the alleged excesses being committed by its forces in the besieged Gaza Strip.

South Africa is "extremely concerned at the continued killing of children and innocent civilians" in the Palestinian territory", news agency Reuters quoted the country's foreign minister, Naledi Pandor, as saying while addressing the press in Pretoria.

Track latest updates on Israel-Hamas war

"We believe the nature of response by Israel has become one of collective punishment," she said, adding the country will continue to demand for an immediate ceasefire.

The death toll in Gaza has crossed 10,000, with around half of the deceased estimated to be children, as per the numbers shared by the Hamas-run health ministry of the region.

Also Read: The Gaza war has deepened Joe Biden’s Iran nightmare

South Africa, which has battled an apartheid regime till 1994, is one of the most ardent supporters of the Palestinian cause. The country is amongst the few in the world which have not deployed an ambassador to Israel.

Pendor, however, noted that the recalling of diplomats is a “normal practice" and is aimed at deciding “whether there is any potential for you to be of assistance and whether the continued relationship is actually able to be sustained in all terms", Reuters reported.

Also Read: ‘Gaza Strip cut into two’ says Israeli army, ‘ready to attack Northern Gaza any moment’

South Africa's decision to recall diplomats from Israel also comes in the aftermath of three Latin American countries – Chile, Honduras and Columbia – announcing that they are snapping diplomatic ties with Tel Aviv as a mark of protest over its actions in Gaza. The three countries have recalled their ambassadors posted in Israel.

Earlier in the day, 18 agencies and non-profit organisations linked to the United Nations issued a statement demanding “an immediate ceasefire". “It’s been 30 days. Enough is enough…This must stop now," they said.

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Published: 06 Nov 2023, 09:19 PM IST
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