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South African lawmakers vote to sever ties with Israel.

South African lawmakers have voted to close the Israeli embassy in Pretoria and sever all diplomatic relations with Israel.

The ruling African National Congress, which controls parliament, has long been critical of Israel and supported the resolution.

The motion asked for the embassy to be closed and links severed unless Israel agrees to a cease-fire and commits to binding negotiations.

It was approved by a vote of 248 to 91. Some members chanted “free, free Palestine” as they did so.

Israel recalled its ambassador “for consultations” ahead of the South African election, citing “the latest South African statements.”

President Cyril Ramaphosa recently submitted Israel to the International Criminal Court for possible war crimes, and South African ambassadors were recalled from Israel.

On Tuesday, he presided over a virtual summit of the Brics group of countries to discuss the situation in Gaza.

He used strong words, accusing Israel of genocide in Gaza and condemning what he called the collective punishment of Palestinian citizens.

Israel has stated that its activities in Gaza are in self-defense and that its goal is to remove Hamas.

 

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