South Africa démarches to Israeli Ambassador over Gaza war remarks

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The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) has made a démarche to the Israeli Ambassador to South Africa, Eliav Belotserkovsky, to discuss what their statement calls the recent unfortunate conduct in relation to the unfolding tragic war between Israel and Hamas.

Earlier, Minister Naledi Pandor indicated that the Ambassador had made a number of comments without having discussed them with senior members of the government, warning that it would not be tolerated.

DIRCO’s statement does not specify the remarks it has found problematic but SABC News understands it’s in relation to criticism of Pretoria’s stance on the war in Gaza.

DIRCO’s Director General Zane Dangor expresses South Africa’s grave concerns regarding the current trajectory of events in relation to the rising death toll of civilians including children in Gaza, reiterating the country’s condemnation of Hamas’ October 7 attack and calling for it to be investigated as war crimes.

Dangor adds that Israel’s response was unlawful and called for the ICC to investigate Israeli leaders for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.

Pretoria again calls for an immediate and comprehensive ceasefire.

Ambassador Belotserkovsky was called upon to conduct himself in line with the Vienna Conventions on diplomatic conduct.

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