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South African Parliament votes in favor of motion to close Israeli embassy | News

South Africa’s Parliament has voted in favor of a motion calling for the closure of the Israeli embassy in Pretoria, amid growing tensions between the two countries following the Israeli attack on Gaza.

The motion is largely symbolic as it will be up to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s government whether to implement it.

The motion calling for the embassy to be closed was passed Tuesday with 248 votes in favor and 91 votes against.

The motion presented by the left-wing opposition Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party was supported by the ruling African National Congress and opposed by members of the centrist, largely white, largely pro-Israel Democratic Alliance (DA).

Ramaphosa has previously said his country believes Israel is committing war crimes and genocide in the besieged Gaza Strip, where thousands of Palestinians have been killed.

The vote comes after Israel announced it was recalling its ambassador Eli Belotserkovsky from Pretoria “for consultations”.

The African country has not had an ambassador to Israel since 2018.

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