Bolivia cuts ties with Israel as other nations recall ambassadors amid Gaza strikes

Colombia and Chile have recalled their ambassadors from Israel for consultations

Bolivian Deputy Foreign Minister Freddy Mamani, accompanied by Minister of the Presidency Maria Nela Prada, announced Bolivia's decision to break relations with Israel. AFP
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Bolivia has severed diplomatic ties with Israel over its attacks on the Gaza Strip, while Colombia and Chile recalled their ambassadors for consultations.

The three South American nations lambasted Israel's attacks on Gaza and condemned the deaths of Palestinian citizens.

Bolivia “decided to break diplomatic relations with the Israeli state in repudiation and condemnation of the aggressive and disproportionate Israeli military offensive taking place in the Gaza Strip", Deputy Foreign Minister Freddy Mamani said.

The three countries called for a ceasefire, with Bolivia and Chile also pushing for the passage of humanitarian aid into the enclave and accusing Israel of breaching international law.

Colombian President Gustavo Petro called the attacks a “massacre of the Palestinian people” in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

Israel's Foreign Ministry did not respond to a request for comment.

Other South American countries, including Mexico and Brazil, have also called for a ceasefire.

“What we have now is the insanity of Israel's Prime Minister, who wants to wipe out the Gaza Strip,” Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said on Friday.

Bolivia is among the first countries to break diplomatic relations with Israel over its war in Gaza, launched in retaliation for an October 7 attack in southern Israel by Hamas militants who Israel says killed 1,400 people, including children, and took about 240 people hostage.

More than 8,500 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli strikes.

Bolivia cut diplomatic ties with Israel in 2009 under the government of President Evo Morales, also in protest against Israel's actions in Gaza.

Israel and Hamas fighters engage in 'fierce battle' in Gaza

Israel and Hamas fighters engage in 'fierce battle' in Gaza

In 2020, the government of right-wing interim president Jeanine Anez re-established ties.

“We reject the war crimes being committed in Gaza. We support international initiatives to guarantee humanitarian aid, in compliance with international law,” Bolivian President Arce said on Monday.

Gaza health authorities have said more than 8,500 people, including at least 3,500 children, have been killed in Israeli attacks since October 7. UN officials say more than 1.4 million of Gaza's population of about 2.3 million have been made homeless.

Israel's military has accused Hamas, which rules the coastal enclave, of using civilian buildings as cover for fighters, commanders and weapons, accusations the group denies.

Updated: November 01, 2023, 7:44 AM