S. Africa reinstates envoy to Israel

Coovadia ends seven-week hiatus over Gaza flotilla incident.

2010 world cup 311 (photo credit: AP)
2010 world cup 311
(photo credit: AP)
The South African Foreign Ministry announced the reinstatement of its ambassador to Israel, Ismael Coovadia, following his withdrawal for seven weeks in protest of the May 31 Gaza flotilla incident, AFP reported Tuesday.
The South African Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying that it supports an independent and international investigation of the incident, even as it acknowledged the IDF's own internal investigation.
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The South African Embassy told TheJerusalem Post last June that Coovadia was beingrecalled to Pretoria so that the government could get a “betterunderstanding” of what happened off the coast
Deputy International Relations Minister of South Africa, Ebrahim Ebrahim, explained the ambassador's recall. “This was done in order to register the Government’s strongest possibleprotest to the Israeli Government, for its unjustified military actionand resultant loss of life inflicted by The State
of Israel
on aflotilla of ships carrying humanitarian relief supplies to Gaza,” he said in a statement.
“The recall of Ambassador Coovadia for consultations is a way ofprotesting and a way of showing our strongest condemnation of theattack. This recent Israel aggression of attacking the aid flotillaseverely impacts on finding a lasting solution to the problems of theregion,” Ebrahim told journalists in Pretoria.
In its statement announcing the return of its ambassador, the South African Foreign Ministry "continued to call on the Israeli government to lift its blockade of Gaza, which is causing untold suffering to thousands of innocent civilians."