South African ambassador returns to Israel


JERUSALEM (JTA) — South Africa has reinstated its ambassador to Israel.

The South African government had recalled Ismail Coovadia seven weeks ago following Israel’s interception of a Turkish aid ship, which led to the death of nine Turkish activists. It did not expel its ambassador from Israel.

Coovadia’s recall was the country’s way of registering its strongest protest of the incident.

The South African government also issued a demarche, the strongest form of diplomatic protest, against Israel’s action.

"Following extensive discussions and consultations with Amb. Coovadia, the decision was taken by the government for Amb. Coovadia to return to Tel Aviv to resume his duties there," said the Department of International Relations and Cooperation spokesperson, Saul Molobi.

"The South African Government also continues to call on the Israeli government to lift its blockade of Gaza, which is causing untold suffering to thousands of innocent civilians," Molobi added.

South Africa also continues to call for a "prompt, impartial, credible and transparent" independent international investigation.

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