No decision yet on Israeli ambassador to SA: Pandor

todayNovember 9, 2023 11

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International Relations Minister, Naledi Pandor, says no decision has been taken on Israel’s Ambassador to South Africa.
This as calls mount for the axing of the ambassador amid the escalating tensions in the Middle East.
Earlier this week, Minister in the Presidency, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, described the ambassador’s presence in the country as untenable.
Ntshavheni revealed that the ball is now in the hands of the Department of International Relations (Dirco) to decide on Eliav Belotserkovsky’s future.
Pandor told Parliamentarians she had not yet tabled a proposal to cabinet regarding the expulsion of Belotserkovsky.
The Minister says should there be any further action, the public will be informed.
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) is among the political parties who strongly believe that the ambassador must be shown the door.
The red berets say they will table a motion before the National Assembly on Belotserkovsky.
The South African government has also decided to recall all its diplomats from Tel Aviv in Israel for consultation.
Hamas phone call
Minister Pandor also used her address in Parliament to defend the phone call she had with Hamas leader, Ismail Haniyeh, shortly after the deadly conflict ensued.
The said telephonic discussion saw many accuse the Minister of allegedly supporting Hamas.
Among them, is the South African Jewish Board of Deputies, who said Pandor’s decision to reach out to Hamas shows the hollowness of the government’s statements for peace.
However, the Minister denied these assertions – saying the reports are meant to call her and the South African government into question.
Pandor confirms that she did indeed speak to the Hamas leader.
She has, however, rejected claims that it was a show of support for the organisation that’s at war with the Israeli government after it launched an attack on Israel on a Sabbath day and date of several Jewish holidays claiming more than 1 400 lives.
“I spoke to that gentleman Mr Haniyeh, I did not express any support for the atrocious action that had occurred on the 7th of October, that is totally untrue,” says Pandor.
Pandor has also urged the International Criminal Court (ICC)  to criminally charge Israeli’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.
More than 10 000 civilians , including more than 4,000 children, have perished in the month-long conflict, with the Israel Defence Force having allegedly bombed schools, a hospital and refugee camp – a move that’s in violation of the International Law.

Written by: Lindiwe Mpanza

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