Cyril Ramaphosa

The South African president has announced that he remains committed to downgrading his country’s embassy in Tel Aviv in protest to continued and excessive ‘human rights violations’ committed by Israel against Palestinians.

“We are clear on our support for the achievement of the Palestinian state, alongside the right of… Israel to exist in peace and security with its neighbors,” Cyril Ramaphosa told the parliament this week.

He urged the government to implement South Africa’s ruling party’s 2017 resolution which called for downgrading the country’s embassy in Israel to the status of a liaison office, because of the “continued Israeli violations of the rights of Palestinians.”

“The South African government remains seized with the modalities of downgrading the South African Embassy in Israel and we will communicate once the cabinet has fully finalized on this matter,” he said.

​A few weeks after US President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and instructed the State Department to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the African National Congress, under the leadership of former South African president Jacob Zuma, passed a resolution to show “support to the oppressed people of Palestine.”