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SA pulls ambassador out of Israel over Gaza violence

By AFP 14 May 2018
Caption
A Palestinian demonstrator throws stones during a protest against the US Embassy move to Jerusalem and ahead of the 70th anniversary of Nakba, at the Gaza-Israeli border, in Abu Safia, Gaza Strip, 14 May 2018. According to media reports, at least 37 Palestinians were killed and more than 1600 wounded during clashes in Gaza-Israeli border during clashes against the US embassy move to Jerusalem as well as marking Nakba Day. Palestinians are marking the Nakba Day, or the day of the disaster, when more than 700 thousand Palestinians were forcefully expelled from their villages during the war that led to the creation of the state of Israel on 15 May 1948. Protesters call for the right of Palestinians to return to their homeland. EPA-EFE/LUCA PIERGIOVANNI

South Africa has taken a strong stance against the killing of 41 Palestinians by Israeli armed forces by pulling the SA ambassador out of Israel.

“Given the indiscriminate and gravity of the latest Israeli attack, the South African government has taken a decision to recall Ambassador Sisa Ngombane with immediate effect until further notice,” Department of International Relations spokesperson Ndivhuwo Mabaya said on Monday.

Mabaya said the attack also resulted in scores of Palestinian citizens being injured.

He said government condemned “in the strongest terms possible the latest act of violent aggression carried out by Israeli armed forces along the Gaza border”.

“[This] led to the deaths of over 40 killed following a peaceful protest against the provocative inauguration of the US embassy in Jerusalem,” he said.

Mabaya said South Africa reiterated its view that the Israeli Defence Force “must withdraw from the Gaza Strip and bring to an end the violent and destructive incursions into Palestinian territories”.

“South Africa maintains further that the violence in the Gaza Strip will stand in the way of rebuilding Palestinian institutions and infrastructure.”

Mabaya said government reiterates calls made by several member states of the United Nations calling for an independent inquiry into the killings, with a view to holding to account those who are responsible.

Monday marked the deadliest day of violence since the 2014 cross border war. DM

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