Countries blame Israel’s ‘disproportionate’ attack on Gaza and reiterate calls for a humanitarian ceasefire.
Bolivia has cut official ties with Israel over the war in Gaza as two other Latin American countries recalled their ambassadors in Tel Aviv for consultations.
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 at a press conference on Tuesday night.
Minister of the Presidency Maria Nela Prada also announced the country would send humanitarian aid to Gaza.
“We demand an end to the attacks” in the Gaza Strip “which have so far caused thousands of civilian deaths and the forced displacement of Palestinians,” she said at the same press conference.
Neighbours Colombia and Chile also recalled their ambassadors for consultations condemning the deaths of civilians in Gaza and calling for a ceasefire.
Historically, Latin America’s left-leaning countries have sympathised with the Palestinian cause, while the more right-wing countries have tended to follow the lead of the United States.
Writing on social media site X, Chilean President Gabriel Boric accused Israel of “unacceptable violations of International Humanitarian Law” and following a policy of “collective punishment” of the people of Gaza, as he announced the recall of Ambassador Jorge Carvajal.
Chile has the largest, and one of the oldest, Palestinian communities outside the Arab world.
Also writing on X, Colombian President Gustavo Petro called the attacks a “massacre of the Palestinian people”.
Other Latin American countries, including Mexico and Brazil, have also called for a ceasefire.
Bolivia is among the first nations to announce the end of diplomatic relations with Israel over its war in Gaza, which came after armed group Hamas launched an unprecedented assault on Israel killing 1,400 people and taking some 240 people captive. At least 13 citizens from several Latin American countries were among the dead, and some 21 more remain missing.
At least 8,525 Palestinians have now been killed in Israel’s current war in Gaza.
Hamas welcomed Bolivia’s decision and urged Arab countries that have normalised their relations with Tel Aviv to do the same.
Bolivia previously cut diplomatic ties with Israel in 2009, also in protest against Israel’s actions in Gaza.
Relations were only restored in 2020.
About 2.3 million people live in Gaza and United Nations officials say more than 1.4 million of them have been made homeless by Israel’s relentless bombardment.