South Africa to Arrest Israeli Soldiers Holding Dual Citizenship

Gaza meal child Ramadan Reuters march 2024

Gaza meal child Ramadan Reuters march 2024

IDF soldiers holding dual Israeli-South African citizenship will be subject to immediate arrest, the country’s foreign minister said. The Israeli army is preparing for others that may follow suit.

South Africa’s Foreign Minister, Naledi Pandor, declared that South African citizens who engage in combat with the Israeli armed forces, particularly in Gaza, will face arrest upon returning home. This announcement came during a Palestinian solidarity event attended by officials from the ruling African National Congress party. Pandor also urged protests outside the embassies of what she termed the “five primary supporters” of Israel, likely referring to countries such as the United States, the U.K., and Germany.

The Foreign Ministry expressed concern in December about South African citizens or permanent residents joining the Israeli Defense Forces in Gaza. Those who did so without proper authorization under South Africa’s arms control laws could face prosecution, with the possibility of dual citizens losing their South African citizenship. Pandor’s statements indicate a tougher stance from the government on this issue.

While the number of South African citizens fighting for Israel in Gaza remains unclear, the country has a substantial Jewish population. South Africa has long been supportive of Palestinians and critical of Israel, drawing parallels between Israeli policies and apartheid-era oppression in South Africa. Israel refutes allegations of apartheid and genocide, with ongoing legal proceedings at the International Court of Justice expected to continue for years.

 “I have already issued a statement alerting those who are South African and who are fighting alongside or in the Israeli Defence Force. We are ready. When you come home, We’re going to arrest you,” she declared.

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