‘Ambassador Belotsercovsky is called upon to conduct himself in line with the Vienna Conventions,’ says Foreign Ministry
South Africa has summoned the Israeli Ambassador to Pretoria Eliav Belotsercovsky in connection with his recent alleged conduct relating to the ongoing, tragic Israel-Palestine war.
Belotsercovsky is accused of making disparaging remarks about those who speak out against attacks on Palestinians.
“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 recognize the sovereign decisions of the host nation,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement issued on Friday evening.
Belotsercovsky met with Foreign Ministry Director General Zane Dangor, who expressed South Africa’s grave concern over Israeli airstrikes and ground attacks on Gaza, which have killed over 10,000 civilians, including over 4,300 children.
Dangor told Belotsercovsky that South Africa wants the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate Israeli leaders for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide.
The official also reiterated South Africa’s position, saying the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can only be solved by ending the occupation and beginning immediate talks towards a just and lasting peace for Palestinians and Israelis.
South Africa also called for an immediate comprehensive cease-fire, the opening of humanitarian corridors, and the release of all civilian hostages.
Last week, South Africa withdrew its entire diplomatic staff from Tel Aviv for consultation on Israel’s war on Gaza.
While announcing the government’s decision to withdraw diplomatic staff, Minister in Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni told reporters, “Genocide under the watch of the international community cannot be tolerated. Another Holocaust in human history is not acceptable.”
South African citizens have held over a dozen protests since the Israel-Palestine armed conflict began on Oct. 7. Rights activists were calling for the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador from Pretoria as well as the recalling of the country’s diplomats from Tel Aviv.