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South Africa Votes To Close Israeli Embassy Over Gaza Conflict

Lawmaker in South Africa votes to close Israeli Embassy over Gaza conflict and suspending all diplomatic relations until a ceasefire is agreed upon in the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas in Gaza.

Daisy-Mae Schmitt
Nov 23, 202333 Shares33017 Views
Lawmaker in South Africa votes to close Israeli Embassy over Gaza conflictand suspending all diplomatic relations until a ceasefire is agreed upon in the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas in Gaza.
The move is seen as a symbolic gesture, with the decision on implementation resting with President Cyril Ramaphosa's government.

Symbolic Nature of the Resolution

The resolution gained significant support in parliament, with a resounding adoption by a margin of 248 votes in favor and 91 against. The decision follows growing tensions between South Africa and Israel over the Israeli military campaign in Gaza.
President Ramaphosa and senior foreign ministry officials have been openly critical of Israel's leadership, urging the International Criminal Court to investigate potential war crimes.
While the resolution carries symbolic weight, its implementation depends on the actions of the South African government.
President Ramaphosa's spokesperson, Vincent Magwenya, stated that the president "notes and appreciates" parliament's guidance, emphasizing that the matter remains under the jurisdiction of the national executive.
African National Congress (ANC) chief whip Pemmy Majodina is speaking
African National Congress (ANC) chief whip Pemmy Majodina is speaking

Motion Details

The opposition Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party initially proposed the motion to close the embassy and suspend diplomatic relations.
The African National Congress (ANC), the ruling party, pledged its support for the motion, aligning with South Africa's historical stance on the Israeli-Palestinian issue.
Pemmy Majodina, the chief whip of the ANC, amended the resolution to include a clause stating that the closure and suspension would continue until Israel agreed to a ceasefire and made a commitment to legally binding negotiations aimed at achieving a just, lasting peace.

South Africa's Historical Support for Palestine

South Africa has a long history of supporting the Palestinian cause for statehood, drawing parallels between the struggles of Palestinians and the Black majority during the apartheid era. This historical context has fueled South Africa's solidarity with the Palestinian people.
The Israeli embassy in Pretoria recalled its ambassador to Tel Aviv for consultations ahead of the parliamentary vote.
The international community has increasingly criticized Israeli actions in Gaza, with a growing number of voices labeling Israeli policies as constituting the crime of apartheid.
In addition to the embassy closure vote, South Africa hosted a virtual summit of BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) on the same day.
The group called for an "immediate, durable, and sustained humanitarian truce leading to a cessation of hostilities" in Gaza, emphasizing the need for collective efforts to address the crisis.
As individual countries, we have demonstrated our grave concern at the death and destruction in Gaza.- President Cyril Ramaphosa
Let this meeting stand as a clarion call for us to combine our efforts and strengthen our actions to end this historical injustice. Let us work together to realise a just, peaceful and secure future for the people of both Palestine and Israel.- President Cyril Ramaphosa

Final Words

While the decision to close the Israeli embassy in Pretoria and suspend diplomatic ties is primarily symbolic, it reflects South Africa's longstanding commitment to the Palestinian cause.
The resolution's passage aligns with broader international concerns about the ongoing conflict in Gaza and adds to the diplomatic pressure on Israel.
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