The ACDP is shocked at the short-sighted decision by the ANC to recall the South African ambassador to Israel.

The ACDP is saddened by the loss of life yesterday and we convey our sincere condolences to the families that lost their loved ones, particularly children.

Israel has the right to defend its borders and its citizens. This right has been recognised by the South African government. Israel faced a real and imminent danger with the incitement by Hamas of its own population to storm the border fence and attack Israeli citizens. No country would permit this.

The ACDP questions why the ANC is quick to condemn Israel for their actions yesterday, but quiet regarding the fact that Hamas uses women and children as human shields. Why are they quiet when Hamas mobilises women and children to go into areas of conflict, knowing that some might be hurt or even killed?

While the ACDP supports the right to peaceful protest, we do not support the carrying of dangerous weapons, including petrol bombs, during a protest, as Hamas reportedly did.

The recall of the South African Ambassador will deny South Africa the chance of playing any meaningful mediation role in the Middle East. The decision also smacks of double standards, given that the South African government did not take similar steps when tens of thousands of lives were lost in other Middle Eastern countries, such as Syria.

The ACDP calls on all South Africans and believers in particular to reject this decision, and to work and pray for peace in the the Middle East and Jerusalem. We remain committed to stand with Israel and oppose all forms of anti-Semitism.

15 May 2018