Zambia was among African nations that attended celebrations to mark the US embassy’s relocation from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem on Sunday evening.
On Monday, Gaza had its bloodiest day in years after Israeli forces shot and killed 52 Palestinians and wounded at least 1,200 as tens of thousands protested the relocation of the US embassy in Jerusalem.
And South Africa took a strong stance against the killing of 41 Palestinians by Israeli armed forces by pulling its Ambassador Sisa Ngombane with immediate effect until further notice out of Israel.
But Zambia’s Ambassador to Israel Martin Mwanambale joined 86 other envoys which included 33 from Africa, Latin American, European and a few Asian diplomats at the controversial ceremony.
This is according to a list released by the Israeli Foreign Ministry on Sunday evening.
The other 11 Ambassadors who attended the event were drawn from Angola, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Sudan and Tanzania.
Notably absent from the list were some of Israel’s allies and staunchest friends, such as Canada, Australia and Germany.
Other important countries with which Israel has good ties such as China, Russia, Argentina and India also boycotted the event.
Most European countries have slammed US President Donald Trump’s move to relocate the embassy as not in line with international consensus, preferring to wait on recognizing the city until its status is finalized in talks with the Palestinians.
On Monday, the new US embassy was officially inaugurated in the capital’s Arnona neighborhood.
“Seventy years ago, the United States, under President Harry S Truman, became the first nation to recognize the State of Israel,” the US State Department said in a statement Saturday.
“Moving our Embassy is not a departure from our strong commitment to facilitate a lasting peace deal; rather it is a necessary condition for it. We are not taking a position on final status issues, including the specific boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem, nor on the resolution of contested borders.”
Citing Trump’s December 6 speech, the statement said that “the historic opening of our embassy recognizes the reality that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and the seat of its government.”
The US Consulate General on Jerusalem’s Agron Street will continue to operate as an “independent mission with an unchanged mandate responsible for U.S. relations with the Palestinians and the Palestinian Authority,” the statement went on.
And South Africa has taken a strong stance against the killing of 41 Palestinians by Israeli armed forces by pulling its Ambassador Sisa Ngombane with immediate effect until further notice out of Israel.
“Given the indiscriminate and gravity of the latest Israeli attack, the South African government has taken a decision to recall Ambassador Sisa Ngombane with immediate effect until further notice,” Department of International Relations spokesperson Ndivhuwo Mabaya said on Monday.
Mabaya said the attack also resulted in scores of Palestinian citizens being injured.
He said government condemned “in the strongest terms possible the latest act of violent aggression carried out by Israeli armed forces along the Gaza border”.
“[This] led to the deaths of over 40 [people] killed following a peaceful protest against the provocative inauguration of the US embassy in Jerusalem,” he said.
Mabaya said South Africa reiterated its view that the Israeli Defence Force “must withdraw from the Gaza Strip and bring to an end the violent and destructive incursions into Palestinian territories”.