Pretoria‎, South Africa
Pretoria‎, South AfricaiStock

South Africans fighting for Israel in Gaza could face prosecution at home, the government warned Monday, according to the AFP news agency.

The foreign ministry said it was "gravely concerned" by reports that some South African nationals have joined the IDF to fight in Gaza, or are considering doing so.

"Such action can potentially contribute to the violation of international law and the commission of further international crimes, thus making them liable for prosecution in South Africa," the ministry warned.

It did not specify how many South Africans are thought to have enlisted.

The government has previously said the State Security Agency (SSA) was tracking them down.

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 last 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.

In late November, a majority of South African lawmakers 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.

This past summer, a South African lawmaker called for a Cape Town-based Jewish day school to be “deregistered” due to the fact that many of the school’s graduates go to Israel and enlist in the IDF.