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South Africa Says Its Citizens Serving In Israel’s Military Will Be Arrested

South Africa Says Its Citizens Serving In Israel’s Military Will Be Arrested

Many American, British, European and other foreign-born men and women have long served in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), and often they are dual citizens. As an example, earlier this week Israel announced the death of 19-year old Sgt. Itay Chen, a dual US-Israeli citizen who had been serving in the IDF, at the hands of Hamas.

But South Africa, which brought an International Criminal Court (ICC) case against Israel over allegations of genocide against Palestinians, has issued a new declaration forbidding its citizens from joining or assisting in any way with the Israeli military.

South Africa’s foreign minister Naledi Pandor has said South Africans face arrest upon their return home of they fight in the IDF or assist as part of a paramilitary unit.

“I have already issued a statement alerting those who are South African and are fighting alongside or in the [Israeli military]: We are ready. When you come home, we are going to arrest you,” Pandor said at a pro-Palestine event attended by the country’s governing African National Congress (ANC) party.

South Africa has also previously warned that soldiers with dual South African-Israeli citizenship could be stripped of their South African citizenship if caught fighting for the IDF. 

Pandor went so far as to positively recall that ANC militants were trained by Palestinians to resist the prior apartheid government. “We didn’t meet the Palestinian people on October 8th, we’ve been together in the struggle for many decades,” she said.

“The people of Palestine trained the freedom fighters of the liberation movement,” the South African foreign minister added. “This is a relationship of freedom fighters, of activists, of nations that share a history. A history of struggle for justice and freedom.”

Since Israel’s retaliatory operation began in Gaza in the wake of the Oct.7 Hamas terror attack, Israel-South Africa relations have reached a historic low point and are even on the verge of breaking completely.

Currently, South Africa’s foreign ministry is calling on global protests in front of embassies of any country supporting or weaponizing Israel. South Africa is also urging the international boycotting of Israeli goods over alleged war crimes and acts of genocide. Already, months ago the South African government had recalled its ambassadors from Tel Aviv in order to assess future relations.

Thu, 03/14/2024 – 06:55

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