South Africa confirms 2 nationals killed in Israeli-Hamas war

Friday October 13 2023

Soldiers search the remains of a torched vehicle for forensic evidence in the Negev Desert in Southern Israel on October 13, 2023. PHOTO | AFP


South Africa's Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) has confirmed that two of the country’s nationals have died in the ongoing conflict in the Middle East.

However, Dirco spokesperson Clayson Monyela clarified that the government is still verifying the information from the Israeli embassy in Pretoria on their identities and cause of death. According to multiple reports that emerged on Friday, two South Africans died in attacks by the militant group Hamas.

“The Department of International Relations and Cooperation can confirm that we have been notified that two South African nationals have died in this ongoing conflict between Palestine and Israel,” said Mr Monyela.

“The verification process is currently underway because one of the individuals is reported to have an Israeli ID number, so we need to determine whether there is dual citizenship or what the picture is.”

Read: Israel-Palestine war: All citizens accounted for, Kenya says

Monyela stated that the information originated from a post on social media platform X, previously Twitter, by the Israeli embassy. He noted that the people the embassy claimed had been killed could possibly hold dual South African-Israeli citizenship.


The Dirco spokesperson also added that the South African missions in Ramallah and Tel Aviv are working together to provide consular assistance and services to the families affected by the recent conflict.

“On behalf of the government, we would like to pass a message of sincere condolences to the families and loved ones of the two nationals,” added Monyela.

The militant wing of Hamas launched an attack on Israel from Gaza last Saturday, with the conflict descending into a full-blown war. In response, Israel unleashed a barrage of rockets on Gaza.

It has been reported that the Hamas attacks have killed more than 1,300, and with Israel’s military retaliating in attack, more than 1,500 Palestinians have died.

Meanwhile, the Palestine embassy in South Africa says the escalation of the “genocidal” war between Israel and Palestine has reached a critical point that threatens to engulf the entire region. 

Read: Israel-Palestine war: The deadly battles

According to Hanan Jarrar, Palestine's ambassador to South Africa, the weekend's attack by Hamas on Israel is a fraction of what the Palestinian people have faced over the past 70 years under Israel's occupation.

“Since Saturday, Israel admitted to dropping 6,000 bombs on Gaza, killing up to 1,569 Palestinians, including 447 children and infants, and 248 women. More than 7,000 Palestinians are injured,” Jarrar told journalists in Pretoria.

“We urge the international community to address the illness instead of the symptom. The Israeli occupation of Palestine is the real illness; the escalation from last Saturday is the symptom of this long illness.

“In this genocidal war, seven journalists have lost their lives in the line of duty.”