The South African government says it will not bow down to pressure to normalise its diplomatic relations with the state of Israel.

This follows concerted efforts by pro-Israeli groups to urge the Pretoria administration to reinstate its ambassador to Tel Aviv.

The South African government recalled its Ambassador to Israel, Sisa Ngombane two months ago following the killing of at least 60 Palestinian protesters, and the wounding of about 2 000 more along the Gaza strip by Israeli forces.

The Jewish lobby groups have denounced the move to recall the country’s Ambassador as “outrageous”, whilst pro-Palestinian activists have called for the immediate downgrade of the South African embassy in Tel Aviv.

Briefing the media on Tuesday in Pretoria, International Relations Minister Lindiwe Sisulu reiterated government stance not to reinstate its Ambassador back to Tel Aviv.

“I’m very glad that I recalled the Ambassador, because we could have not been in the situation that we are at now. Its been a violation that has been going on for a long time, and we can’t be looking away. We are holding back on our Ambassador until we are certain that we are making headway. For us this is an unacceptable situation, completely unacceptable.”