DIRCO démarches the Ambassador of the State of Israel

Media Statement


10 November 2023


DIRCO démarches the Ambassador of the State of Israel


On 9 November 2023, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) démarched the Ambassador of the State of Israel to South Africa, HE Mr E Belotsercovsky, to discuss the ambassador’s recent unfortunate conduct relating to the unfolding, tragic Israel-Palestine war.


The Director-General (DG) of DIRCO, Mr Zane Dangor, 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 airstrikes and ground attacks on the people of Gaza. The DG stated that South Africa condemned the attacks on civilians by Hamas and stated that these actions should be investigated for war crimes. He added that the response by Israel was unlawful and stated that South Africa wants the ICC to investigate the leadership of Israel to be investigated 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.


South Africa once 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.


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 amongst which is to recognise the sovereign decisions of the host nation.


Ambassador Belotsercovsky was once again called upon to covey South African Government concerns to Tel Aviv.




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