LINDIWE SISULU UNDER PRESSURE OVER GAZA CARNAGE
Department of International Relations and Corporation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu. Picture: GCIS.
Gaye Davis & Shamiela Fisher
South African Eyewitness News
CAPE TOWN - The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and the National Freedom Party (NFP) have called for tougher action against Israel over the fatal shooting of nearly 60 people, including children, and injuries sustained by around 2,700 Palestinians.
Minister of International Relations and Co-operation Lindiwe Sisulu has described the action by the Israeli Defence Force against Palestinians protesting the United States’ embassy relocation in East Jerusalem as “unacceptable”.
South Africa’s ambassador to Israel, Sisa Ngombane, has been recalled with immediate effect. But some opposition parties say this is not enough.
Sisulu has come under pressure to take stronger steps against Israel.
EFF MP Reneiloe Mashabela says recalling South Africa’s ambassador to Israel is not enough and that Israel’s ambassador to South Africa should be sent home.
“The best solidarity you can give the people of Palestine, as the world, is to isolate Israel.”
The NFP’s Shaik Emam says the government must immediately implement the African National Congress (ANC)'s conference resolution to downgrade its embassy in Tel Aviv.
“We are also calling to stop the importation of all Israeli products and… to prevent any Israeli companies from doing business in South Africa.”
However, the Inkatha Freedom Party says downgrading South Africa’s Israeli embassy would be regrettable, while the African Christian Democratic Party says the decision to recall Ngombane was short-sighted and limit South Africa’s efforts to help bring about a solution.
DA has also criticised the decision to withdraw SA's ambassador to Israel.
ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte has added her voice to a chorus of condemnation of Israel’s use of force against Palestinian protesters.
Duarte on Tuesday joined a pro-Palestine march in the Cape Town CBD. The march comes after government recalled its ambassador to the Jewish state.
Palestinians were protesting against the relocation of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The Israeli government has defended its actions saying it has a duty to protect its borders.
Duarte says another death in Palestine can’t be accepted.
“We cannot be friendly towards people who shamelessly kill children and call it self-defence.”
Duarte has told the crowd the South African government will take further action against Israel.
“The next step is, in fact, to kick out the Israeli. Why would we have an ordinary relationship with the State of Israel? There’s no reason.”
She adds there is no reason for South Africa to have a relationship with Israel.
Meanwhile, the main hospital in Gaza is battling to cope with the hundreds of Palestinians wounded during the violence on the border.
The confrontation coincided with the controversial opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem.
Israel has said its defending its territories, while Palestinian leaders have called the violence a massacre.
Throughout the last seven weeks, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have been protesting as part of a movement calling for the right of return for Palestinian refugees to the areas they were forcibly expelled from in 1948.
(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)