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South Africa's parliament votes to downgrade diplomatic ties with Israel

While symbolic politically, the decision by the South African parliament to downgrade the Israeli mission in the country is not binding but gained support of 208 lawmakers.
An opening session of the South African parliament. ( RODGER BOSCH/AFP via Getty Images)

South Africa’s parliament voted on Tuesday in favor of a decision calling to downgrade the level of the Israeli mission to the country from embassy to a liaison office.

The decision was approved by 208 parliamentarians, while 94 rejected the motion for downgrading Israel-South Africa relations. While the parliament's vote is politically significant, it is not legislatively binding. In order for such a vote to become policy, the government in South Africa has to adopt the motion, and inform Israel. Only then an official downgrade would take effect. The government in Pretoria has not issued yet a reaction to the vote.

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