The Embassy of South Africa in Israel

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3.06.2010

DEPUTY MINISTER EBRAHIM EBRAHIM ADDRESS THE MEDIA ON THE OCCASION OF THE ISRAELI ATTACK ON THE FLOTILLA OF SHIPS CARRYING HUMANITARIAN RELIEF FOR GAZA

Deputy Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim Address the media on the occasion of the Israeli attack on the flotilla of ships carrying humanitarian relief for Gaza The South African Government continues to monitor developments with regard to the Israeli military attack, in international waters, on a ship attempting to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza, on 31 May 2010. The Republic of South Africa has already added its voice to the increasing international condemnation of Israel’s actions and has followed up its statements by summoning the Israeli Ambassador to a meeting with Deputy Minister of International Relations and Co-operation, Ms. Sue Van Der Merwe. This was done in order to present a Démarche, registering the Government’s strongest possible protest to the Israeli Government, for its unjustified military action and resultant loss of life inflicted by The State of Israel on a flotilla of ships carrying humanitarian relief supplies to Gaza. The Government also notes that Israel is in the process of releasing and deporting activists detained in the military attack on the ships. Many of these have already arrived in Jordan and Turkey. In this regard, the Government takes note of the willingness of the Jordanian Government to receive the activists and also notes that Turkey has arranged for flights to Israel to bring out many of the released detainees. It is also a great pleasure to confirm that Ms. Gadija Davids, was in fact on one of these flights arranged by the Turkish Government that left Tel Aviv late last night and will in fact tomorrow be landing in South Africa. Read more »

2.06.2010

SOUTH AFRICA CALLS IN ISRAELI AMBASSADOR IN SOUTH AFRICA FOLLOWING ISRAELI ATTACKS ON AID SHIPS TO GAZA

On 1 June 2010, South African Deputy Minister of International Relations and Co-operation, Ms Sue van der Merwe, in the absence of Minister Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, who is on an official visit to France, summoned the Israeli Ambassador in South Africa, Mr Segev-Steinberg. The reason for the meeting was to issue a Démarche, registering the Governments strongest possible protest to the Israeli Government, for its unjustified military action and resultant loss of life inflicted by Israel on a flotilla of ships carrying humanitarian relief supplies to Gaza.

Deputy Minister van der Merwe expressed the Governments deep regret at the loss of life and reiterated that this military attack against civilian activists is totally unacceptable and clearly a case of disproportionate use of force. She further stated that such a military attack was an aberration from acceptable behavior on the part of a State party in dealing with civilians and that Israel must be held accountable for its actions under international law.  In this regard, the South African Government also supported a full investigation into the matter which should be prompt, impartial, credible and transparent, as well as conforming to international standards.

The Government also requested the immediate release of the ships, as well as civilians held by Israel, including one South African citizen and for Israel to allow the countries concerned to retrieve their deceased and wounded and to ensure the delivery of humanitarian assistance from the convoy to its destination.

 For further information, feel free to contact Mr. Mahlatse Mminele on 082-8899-432 or 012-351-9279 or @ mmineleml@dirco.gov.za

 Issued by The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO)

OR Tambo Building

460 Soutpansberg Building Rd

Rietondale

0084

 01 June 2010