The relocation of U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem sparked protest movement on the Gaza border by Palestinians who’ve shown their dissatisfaction since President Trump announced last year December 6, 2017, his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Heavy clamp down along the border resulted in the deaths of 55 people and 2700 injured by live rounds, tear gas and other means by Israeli Defense Forces.
In response to this indiscriminate killing of protesters, South Africa’s Foreign Ministry has taken the decision to recall its ambassador to Israel.
The foreign ministry issued a statement explaining that decision ”Because of the grave and indiscriminate nature of the latest Israeli attack, the South African government has decided to recall Ambassador Sisa Ngombane with immediate effect”.
The diplomatic row is a fallout of the violence emerging from the highly controversial move by the United States to relocate its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Turkey in solidarity with the Palestinians joined South Africa in recalling its own envoy to Israel because of the U.S. decision. Though the move has been criticized by other Western allies, twelve African countries sent representatives to witness the opening event of an American embassy in disputed Jerusalem.
In December of last year, a UN General Assembly rejected the US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel by a large majority, prompting President Trump to lash out on Twitter.
Hoping to establish a state in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, the Palestinians are seeking East Jerusalem as their capital. Meanwhile, Israel claims all of the city, together with the eastern section captured in 1967 during the Middle East war. The annexation has not been internationally recognized.
Many countries of the international community see the status of Jerusalem as being sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims alike. They consider its status to determine in peace settlement talks. Relocating their embassies at this time jeopardizes any negotiation for peace.
BaretaNews Foreign Correspondent/Analyst