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Gaza Killings: South American Nations Snap Ties With Israel; Bolivia Cuts Diplomatic Relations

Israel is facing a backlash for its continued bombings and ground operations in Gaza after a number of Latin American countries registered diplomatic protests against Tel Aviv. While Bolivia’s left-wing government snapped diplomatic ties with Israel entirely citing “war crimes and human rights abuses being committed in the Gaza Strip”, Chile and Colombia have recalled their ambassadors from Israel.

Bolivia’s deputy foreign minister Freddy Mamani told a news conference that Bolivia “decided to break diplomatic relations with the state of Israel in repudiation and condemnation of the aggressive and disproportionate Israeli military offensive taking place in the Gaza Strip.” The country has also demanded that Israel end the attacks on the Gaza Strip.

Chile and Columbia recalled their ambassadors from Israel while Brazil’s president criticised the continued airstrikes on Gaza. 

Chile’s president, Gabriel Boric said he had recalled his country’s ambassador in Tel Aviv to discuss the “unacceptable violations of international humanitarian law” being committed in Gaza. Boric said the military operation represented the collective punishment of the Palestinian civilian population in Gaza.

Colombia too announced it was recalling its ambassador to Israel for consultations. President Gustavo Petro accuses Israel of carrying out a “massacre” of Palestinians amid the war in Gaza against Hamas that his country cannot abide. The relations between the countries had worsened recently and Colombia demanded that the Israeli ambassador leave Bogota. This came after Israel announced it was halting security exports to the country over Petro’s comparison of Israeli actions in Gaza to Nazi Germany’s genocide of Jews during World War II.

Brazil too has been very vocal in its opposition to Israel’s actions.  Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva had accused Israeli Prime Minister of “wanting to destroy the Gaza Strip but forgetting that there aren’t just Hamas soldiers there but also women and children who are the big victims of this war”. 

Lula had also reacted to Israel’s bombing of Gaza refugee camp, tweeting ” For the first time, we are witnessing a war in which the majority of the dead are children … Stop! For the love of God, stop!”

Israel, for its part, criticised the decision of Bolivia, calling it “a surrender to terrorism and to the Ayatollah’s regime in Iran.” Ministry spokesman Lior Haiat said by taking the step, Bolivia was aligning itself with the Hamas terrorist organisation. Israel condemns Bolivia’s “support of terrorism,” Haiat continues, saying it attests “to the values the government of Bolivia represents.” 

Source: The Week