As the current state of affairs grew more intense in the Israel-Hamas war, Bolivia decided to break diplomatic relations with Israel. A cluster of South American nations have recalled their ambassadors as they exhibited solidarity on their perspective of the war.
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Bolivia breaks ties with Israel
Bolivia’s leftwing government has decided to cut ties with Israel entirely due to the alleged war crimes and human rights violence in the Gaza Strip. Bolivia announced its decision on Tuesday, as they accused the nation of carrying out crimes against humanity.
Freddy Mamani, Bolivia’s deputy foreign minister, in a news conference, said that Bolivia’s decision to break diplomatic relations with the state of Israel comes in as Bolivia repudiates and condemns the aggressive and disproportionate Israeli military offense taking place in the Gaza Strip.
María Nela Prada, a minister in President Luis Arce’s administration, told the reporters that Bolivia demands an end to the attacks on the Gaza region. These attacks have claimed thousands of civilian lives and have caused forced displacements of Palestinians, she added. Maria Nela Prada added that Bolivia rejects the hostile treatment of Israel on international actors that provide humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip and that Bolivia will send aid to Gaza. However, more specifics of the proposed help is unavailable.
Notably, the Bolivian government made no comments regarding the October 7 attack, where the Hamas attack on Israel led to the death of 1,400 people. According to the Gaza Health Ministry, more than 8,500 Palestinians have lost their lives in the war.
History of Bolivia-Israel relations
Bolivia and Israel have severed and renewed diplomatic relations. Diplomatic relations between the nations began in 1950 for the very first time. In 2009, under President Evo Morales, the talks broke down. Bolivia restored its diplomatic relations in 2019 after long years of rift between the nations. The break of ties in 2009 was also due to the attacks on the Gaza Strip by Israel.
The president of Bolivia, Luis Acre, met with the Palestinian Ambassador to Bolivia, Mahmoud Elalwani, on Monday. Following the meeting, President Acre wrote on social media, “We cannot remain silent and continue to allow the suffering of the Palestinian people, especially of the children, who have the right to live in peace. We condemn the war crimes being committed in Gaza,”
South American nations show solidarity
Several South American nations have registered diplomatic protests against Israel. Consequently, these nations have recalled their ambassadors from Israel with immediate effect. Chile and Colombia recalled their representatives in Israel. Chile’s president, Gabriel Boric, announced that he had recalled Chile’s ambassador in Tel Aviv to discuss the unacceptable violations of international humanitarian law occurring in Gaza.
Colombia’s president, Gustavo Petro, on Tuesday, said that he had recalled his ambassador in Israel due to the massacre of the Palestinian people. The Brazilian president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, also criticized the status quo in Israel. Argentina also increased its criticism of the matters occurring in Gaza.
Israel reacts to the Bolivian decision
Israel has criticized Bolivia’s decision to break diplomatic relations with Israel as it condemns the call as a surrender to terrorism. The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through its spokesman, Lior Haiat, posted on social media that the decision of the Bolivian government was a surrender to terrorism and the Iranian regime. Lior Haiat said in a statement that Bolivia by taking this step is aligning itself with the Hamas terrorist organization.