South Africa issues démarche to Israeli ambassador Eliav Belotsercovsky

10 November 2023 - 16:22
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International relations director-general Zane Dangor.
International relations director-general Zane Dangor.
Image: Suppplied/Dirco.

The department of international relations has read the riot act to Israeli ambassador to South Africa Eliav Belotsercovsky, issuing a démarche after his “recent unfortunate conduct relating to the unfolding, tragic Israel-Palestine war”. 

“Ambassador Belotsercovsky is called upon to conduct himself in line with the Vienna Conventions, which accord heads of diplomatic missions certain privileges and responsibilities, key among which is to recognise the sovereign decisions of the host nation,” the department said on Friday.

During a meeting with Belotsercovsky, international relations director-general Zane Dangor is said to have “expressed South Africa’s grave concerns regarding the current trajectory of events, especially the attacks on Gaza which has seen over 10,500 civilians, including over 4,300 children, killed by Israeli air strikes and ground attacks on the people of Gaza”.

Dangor also said South Africa “condemned” the attacks on civilians by Hamas and that these actions should be investigated for war crimes.

Dangor's comments come after international relations minister Dr Naledi Pandor this week called for the International Criminal Court in The Hague to arrest Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu for the killing of women, children and the elderly in his country's war with Palestine.

The department said Dangor added that “the response by Israel was unlawful and stated that South Africa wants the ICC to investigate the leadership of Israel for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide”.

“Mr Dangor reiterated South Africa’s position, saying the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can only be solved through ending the occupation and through immediate talks towards a just and lasting peace for Palestinians and Israelis.

“Mr Dangor told ambassador Belotsercovsky that South Africa has taken a decision to recall its diplomats from Tel Aviv to assess its relationship with the country amid a rise in civilian casualties from attacks by Israel on Gaza.” 

The department said South Africa again called for an immediate comprehensive ceasefire, the opening of humanitarian corridors, and the release of all civilian hostages.

“South Africa stands ready to play a role towards the restoration of peace and the resumption of negotiations towards a just and lasting peace.”


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