Venezuela expels Israel envoy, calls Gaza offensive 'holocaust'

Venezuela expelled the ambassador to Israel on Tuesday in protest over the offensive in Gaza only hours after President Hugo Chavez called the attacks a Palestinian holocaust.

Venezuela expels Israel envoy, calls Gaza offensive 'holocaust'
The OPEC nation's Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Israel's attacks constituted "flagrant violations of International Law" and the use of "state terrorism."

"For the reasons mentioned above, the government of Venezuela has decided to expel the Ambassador of Israel and part of the personnel of the Embassy of Israel," the statement said.

The Israeli embassy did not respond to phone calls requesting comment.

Chavez in 2006 withdrew its envoy to Israel and warned of breaking ties with Israel over its military assult in Lebanon.

On Monday he accused Washington of poisoning the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat to destabilize the Middle East and justify U.S.-backed Israeli incursions into Arab countries.

Israel offensive has killed at least 600 Palestinians, including more than 40 in a U.N. school sheltering civilians.

"The Holocaust, that is what is happening right now in Gaza," Chavez said in televised comments earlier on Tuesday.

"The president of Israel at this moment should be taken to the International Criminal Court together with the President of the United States."

Reuters
Last Mod: 07 Ocak 2009, 15:33
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