South Africa will downside its diplomatic representation in Israel in response to the U.S. government's controversial decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the ruling African National Congress said Wednesday.
“In order to give our practical expression of support to the oppressed people of Palestine, the ANC has unanimously resolved to direct the SA government to immediately and unconditionally downgrade the South African Embassy in Israel to a Liaison Office,” Palestinian state news agency Wafa quoted the ANC statement as saying.
The ANC said their move would “send a clear message to Israel that there is a price to pay for its human rights abuses and violations of international law.”
Palestinian ambassador to South Africa, Hashem Dajani, called the move “an important decision,” and added that he hoped other governments around the world would follow suit.
The South African decision comes one day ahead of an emergency session at the United Nations General Assembly where its 193 members will vote on a draft resolution calling on Washington to reverse its declaration on Jerusalem.
Meanwhile 10 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces since U.S. President Donald Trump announced the decision last month, Palestinian news agency Ma’an reported Wednesday, while hunderds have been injured in clashes with Israeli police and occupation forces.
The Palestinian Prisoner’s Society also said that at least 490 people have been arrested since the Trump decision earlier this month, including 148 minors and 11 women.