The South African National Assembly passed a motion on Tuesday calling on the country’s government to suspend diplomatic ties with Israel. The same day, Scotland’s Parliament urged a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war.South Africa’s ruling African National Congress sided with the far-left Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), which drafted the motion, in urging the closure of Israel’s Embassy to South Africa but amended it to say the closure should only last “until a ceasefire is agreed to by Israel and Israel commits to binding UN-facilitated negotiations whose outcome must be a just, sustainable and lasting peace.”The motion also accused the “‘Apartheid-Israel’ government” of being “in perpetual breach of international law against annexation … giv[ing] rise to violent resistance.” The lawmakers also condemned “the killing of defenceless children and women in Gaza, including the bombing of hospitals.” The former allegation refers to Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and its level of control over Gaza, while the latter resembles claims that Israel has attacked hospitals in breach of international law. Israel has not formally annexed the West Bank nor Gaza, and it has previously denied illegally attacking hospitals, asserting that Hamas operates out of the facilities.Before the motion’s passage, Israel recalled its ambassador to South Africa on Monday over the South African government’s statements on the Israel-Hamas conflict.Opposition lawmakers from the Democratic Alliance (DA), Freedom Front Plus (FF Plus) and the Inthaka Freedom Party (IFP) spoke against the motion last Thursday, asserting that it would limit South Africa’s role in a future peace process. Despite the ANC’s amendment, the opposition maintained its position during Tuesday’s debate, with one MP saying that the motion would bind the UN’s peace efforts by dictating the outcome.South Africa was one of five states that referred Israel to the International Criminal Court on Friday.Meanwhile, Scotland’s devolved Parliament placed itself in opposition to the UK’s House of Commons by adopting a ceasefire motion after the Commons rejected a similar one days earlier. The Scottish National Party introduced both motions in Holyrood and the Commons.Unlike the South African resolution, the Scottish one explicitly condemned Hamas’s October 7 attacks on Israel, which claimed the lives of hundreds of civilians. The Scottish Parliament demanded the release of all hostages held by Hamas and an end to the “killing of innocent civilians in Gaza.” It also called on the “International Criminal Court to investigate the conduct of all parties in this conflict.”The motion passed by a 90-28 margin. The Scottish Labour Party notably included itself among those in favor after the UK Labor Party instructed its MPs to abstain from the motion’s counterpart in the Commons.Scottish First Minister Humza Yousaf said:The Scottish Government has repeatedly made clear that Israel has a right, like any other country in the world, to protect its citizens from terror. However, no country, Israel included, has a right to ignore international humanitarian law. That is why this Government has repeatedly called for an end to the 16-year blockade and siege of Gaza. It is why this Government is unequivocal in its condemnation of the Israeli Government cutting off water, food, fuel and supplies to the entire population of Gaza at the beginning of this latest cycle of violence. Collective punishment can never be justified.Israel has not yet commented on the South African or Scottish motions. Some reports state that US- and Qatar-brokered negotiations for a temporary ceasefire are underway.

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