Israel condemned on Tuesday an arrest warrant issued by a South African prosecutorial office for four IDF commanders in the 2010 Mava Marmara case, though expressing hope that the warrant would be rescinded.
Israel’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nachshon called the decision “ugly and provocative,” and said that South Africa’s Directorate of the Priority Crimes Investigation Unit (DPCIU) had acted without authorization.
Nachshon charged “there is a coalition committed to an anti-Israel agenda” in South Africa that was trying to “cynically abuse its justice system in order to advance a hostile agenda against Israel,” but that “we know that the highest authorities in South Africa will not lend their backing to this ugly attempt.”
Earlier on Tuesday, NGO Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Against Israel in Africa announced the warrants against former IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. (res.) Gabi Ashkenazi, former Navy commander Maj.-Gen. (res.) Eliezer Marom, former head of IDF Military Intelligence Maj.-Gen. (res.) Amos Yadlin, and former head of IDF Air Force Intelligence Brig.-Gen. (res.) Avishay Levy.
South Africa’s involvement stems from the complaint of Gadija Davids, a South African journalist who was on board the Mavi Marmara when it was intercepted by IDF naval commandos as it tried to penetrate the Israeli blockade of Gaza.
Nachshon said that Foreign Ministry officials were talking with their South African counterparts in an effort to have the warrants quashed.
During the day there were also reports that questioned the accuracy of the NGO’s statement concerning the warrants.