Niger's armed forces are struggling with jihadist insurgencies in the country's west and southeast

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) urged South Africans to avoid joining any international armed forces as it violates domestic and international laws and makes them liable for prosecution in South Africa.

"The South African government is gravely concerned by reports that some South African citizens and permanent residents have joined or are considering joining the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) in the war in Gaza and the other occupied Palestinian territories," DIRCO said in its official website Monday.

"Such action can potentially contribute to the violation of international law and the commission of further international crimes, thus making them liable for prosecution in South Africa," it added.

As per the Regulation of the Foreign Military Assistance Act, 1998 (Act No. 15 of 1998), any person wishing to render foreign military assistance in Israel should first apply to the National Conventional Arms Control Committee (NCACC).

NCACC then provides a recommendation to the Minister of Defense and Military Veterans on whether such applications can be approved or rejected. Any person joining IDF without a valid permit from the NCACC is "breaking the law and can be prosecuted."

Under the South African Citizenship Act, 1995 (Act No. 88 of 1995), anyone with "South African citizenship by naturalization in terms of that Act shall cease to be a South African citizen if he or she engages under the flag of another country in a war that the Republic does not support or agree with."

Hence, in this context, the agency said it is essential to raise awareness among South African citizens about the consequences of joining the IDF or any foreign armed forces engaged in conflicts.

Considering trade relations between South Africa and Israel, both nations were involved in importing and exporting goods. As of 2021, South Africa exported $255 million worth of goods, including coal briquettes, diamonds, and grapes to Israel, while it imported $241 million worth of products including tool plates and scrap copper, as per OEC.

Last month, South Africa recalled all of its diplomats from Israel's Tel Aviv-Yafo for consultation due to the ongoing war between Palestine and Israel.