South Africa to recall all diplomats from Israel over war

The South African government says it will recall all its diplomats from Israel to signal its concern over the situation in Gaza.

Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, a minister in the president’s office, tells a press briefing that all diplomatic staff in Tel Aviv will be asked back to Pretoria for consultations, without providing further details.

“We are… extremely concerned at the continued killing of children and innocent civilians in the Palestinian territories and we believe the nature of response by Israel has become one of collective punishment,” Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor tells a press conference.

“We felt it important that we do signal the concern of South Africa while continuing to call for a comprehensive cessation [of hostilities].”

Israel says it is not seeking to harm Gaza civilians but rather eradicate Hamas, noting that the terror group is broadly embedded within the civilian population. It has urged all civilians in northern Gaza to depart southward as it intensifies its campaign in the north.

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