Tue 21 Nov 2023 7:09 am - Jerusalem Time
Israeli escalation against South Africa for its support of Palestine. Israel summons its ambassador there for consultations
On the evening of Monday, November 20, 2023, Israel summoned its ambassador to South Africa, Eliav Belotserkovsky, for consultations in protest against the recent statements of the African country’s senior officials regarding support for the Hamas movement. This is days after the International Criminal Court announced that South Africa, Bolivia, Bangladesh, the Comoros and Djibouti had submitted a request to investigate the Israeli attacks on Gaza.
In a brief statement on his account on the “X” platform, Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Lior Hayat said: “In light of the recent statements made by South Africa, the Israeli ambassador there was summoned for consultations.” The Israeli Foreign Ministry did not address the intended statements, but the Hebrew newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth said that the talk was about statements that “support Hamas and condemn Israel,” without further details.
Move to close the Israeli embassy in South Africa
In a related context, the ruling African National Congress party in South Africa said earlier that it would support a parliamentary move calling for the closure of the Israeli embassy in the country.
On November 10, 2023, South Africa announced the recall of the Israeli ambassador to the capital, Pretoria. In protest against the Israeli attacks on Gaza, it also summoned all its diplomats from Israel a few days before for consultations.
The Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation (Derco) of the Republic of South Africa announced the summoning of the Israeli Ambassador, Eliav Belotserkovsky, in the capital, Pretoria. The Ministry of International Relations statement stated that the summoning of Ambassador Belotserkovsky comes against the backdrop of his recent actions towards the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
The statement at the time stressed that South Africa is "deeply concerned about the killing of more than 10,500 civilians, including more than 4,300 children, in Israeli air and ground attacks on Gaza."
The statement described Israeli actions towards Gaza as “illegal” and asked the International Criminal Court to issue an arrest warrant against senior Israeli executives. for committing war crimes.
“Ambassador Belotserkovsky is requested to act in line with the Vienna Conventions which grant certain privileges and responsibilities to heads of diplomatic missions, including recognition of the sovereign decisions of the host state,” the statement read.