SA government doesn’t plan to completely cut ties with Israel — Presidency

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Originally published in Eyewitness News

The Presidency said government does not plan to sever diplomatic ties with Israel.

This despite Parliament last week adopting a motion that government close its embassy in Tel Aviv, and that Israel be forced to close its mission in Pretoria.

Speaking at a press briefing in Parliament on Wednesday, presidential spokesperson, Vincent Magwenya, said there’s currently no process underway for government to reconsider its relationship with Israel.

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Magwenya said government’s foreign policy is the prerogative of the executive and Parliament can’t tell it what to do.

“We have a very clear separation of powers within our constitutional dispensation. Therefore it’s quite unprecedented that you will Parliament instructing the executive on what to do.”

Despite government lodging a complaint against Israel with the International Criminal Court, and wanting it to be declared an apartheid state, Magwenya said government doesn’t plan to follow it up with diplomatic steps.

“At this stage, there’s no decision to completely cut ties with the Israeli government, notwithstanding the level of displeasure the South African government has expressed with regard to the actions of the Israeli government.”

Magwenya said President Cyril Ramaphosa was actively engaged in dialogue with other world leaders on the Middle East situation and he would continue to explore interventions that can be made.

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