Venezuela, Bolivia cut ties with Israel over Gaza
VENEZUELA: Venezuela and Bolivia broke off diplomatic
relations with Israel on yesterday to protest its military offensive in
The decisions by the leftist governments of Hugo Chavez and Evo
Morales came about a week after Venezuela expelled the Israeli
ambassador in Caracas, Shlomo Cohen, and seven embassy staff members to
protest the Jewish state’s actions in Gaza.
Venezuela “has decided to break off diplomatic relations with the
state of Israel given the inhumane persecution of the Palestinian
people,” the foreign ministry said in a statement Wednesday.
Israeli embassy officials and representatives of Venezuela’s Jewish
community could not immediately be reached for comment.
After Venezuela expelled the ambassador last week, Jewish community
leader Abraham Levy said the government was “taking the side of a
terrorist group” by backing Gaza’s Hamas leaders while ignoring Israel’s
Israel launched the offensive on Dec. 27, seeking to force the ruling
Hamas militant group to stop rocket attacks into southern Israel.
Palestinian authorities say strikes have killed more than 1,000 of their
Thirteen Israelis have been killed, four by rocket fire from Gaza.
Morales said that he was severing relations with Israel because of
the Gaza offensive, and that Bolivia he would ask the International
Criminal Court in the Hague, Netherlands, to bring genocide charges
against top Israeli officials.
Morales told Bolivia’s diplomatic corps the Israeli attacks
“seriously threatened world peace.”
Venezuela’s Foreign Ministry said Caracas also plans to denounce
Israel’s military actions at the International Criminal Court and the
South American nation “will not rest until it sees them punished.”
Caracas, Thursday, AP