Pretoria‎, South Africa
Pretoria‎, South AfricaiStock

A majority of South African lawmakers on Tuesday voted in favor of a motion calling for the closure of the Israeli embassy and the cutting of diplomatic ties until Israel agrees to a ceasefire in Gaza, The Associated Press reported.

The motion, tabled last week by the opposition party Economic Freedom Fighters, received the support of 248 parliament members while 91 lawmakers opposed it. The ruling African National Congress (ANC) party supported the motion.

Anti-Israel sentiments remain prevalent in South Africa, where the government has frequently accused Israel of applying a policy of “apartheid” towards Palestinian Arabs.

The tensions have been on the rise since the start of Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza.

The South African government announced earlier this month it was recalling its ambassador and entire diplomatic mission from Israel in protest against Israel's attempts to defend itself from the Hamas terrorist organization following the October 7 massacre.

Later, South Africa called in Israeli Ambassador Eliav Belotsercovsky for a formal reprimand, citing “public comments” he had made.

On Monday, the Israeli Foreign Ministry announced that Ambassador Belotsercovsky has been recalled for consultations following the "latest statements from South Africa".

South Africa announced last week that it had referred what it called Israel’s “genocide” in Gaza to the International Criminal Court for an investigation. Its cabinet has called on the ICC to issue an arrest warrant against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.