Venezuela breaks off Israel ties over Gaza massacre

Bolivian President Evo Morales, a close Chavez ally, on Wednesday also cut ties with Israel to the protest the attacks.

Venezuela breaks off Israel ties over Gaza massacre

Venezuela has cut ties with Israel in protest over its military offensive in the Gaza Strip, the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.

Last week President Hugo Chavez expelled Israel's ambassador from Venezuela over the attacks, which have sparked international condemnation.

"Venezuela ... has definitively decided to break diplomatic ties with the state of Israel given the inhumane persecution of the Palestinian people carried out by the authorities of Israel," said a statement read over state television.

Bolivian President Evo Morales, a close Chavez ally, on Wednesday also cut ties with Israel to the protest the attacks.

Morales said that he would seek to get senior Israeli officials, including Ehud Olmert, the Israeli prime minister, charged with "genocide" in the International Criminal Court.

The Bolivian president also dismissed the United Nations and its "Insecurity Council" for its "lukewarm" response to the crisis and said the general assembly should hold an emergency session to condemn the invasion.

"Considering these grave attacks against ... humanity, Bolivia will stop having diplomatic relations with Israel," Morales told diplomats in the Bolivian capital, La Paz.

He also said that Shimon Peres, the Israeli president, should be stripped of
his Nobel Peace Prize for failing to stop the invasion.

At least 1,033 Palestinians have now died in Israel's offensive in Gaza, around 40 per cent of whom were civilians, aid agencies and Palestinian medics say.

Roberto Nelkenbaum, the Israeli consul in La Paz, told the Reuters news agency that he was "surprised and sad" after hearing Morales's comments in local media.

He said that the two countries have had good diplomatic relations for more than 50 years.

Thirteen Israelis have also died since the assault began, four from rocket fire from Gaza.

Last Mod: 15 Ocak 2009, 13:31
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