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South Africa says it is recalling envoy to Israel over Gaza violence

South Africa says it is recalling its ambassador to Israel “until further notice,” in protest of the deaths of 52 Palestinians, as reported by Hamas’s Gaza Healthy Ministry, during violent clashes with Israeli troops on the Gaza border.

But the Israeli Foreign Ministry says it has not received any official notice on the move.

“The South African government condemns in the strongest terms possible the latest act of violent aggression carried out by Israeli armed forces along the Gaza border‚ which has led to the deaths of over 40 civilians‚” a statement from the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) says.

“Given the indiscriminate and grave manner of the latest Israeli attack‚ the South African government has taken a decision to recall Ambassador Sisa Ngombane with immediate effect until further notice‚” it says.

Pretoria is also calling on Israel to “withdraw from the Gaza Strip and bring to an end the violent and destructive incursions into Palestinian territories.”

Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2005.

In a statement, Israel’s Foreign Ministry says, “As of this moment, there has been no official notice on the recalling of the ambassador.”

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