The countries blame the “disproportionate” Israeli attack on Gaza, and reiterate their calls for a ceasefire on humanitarian grounds.
Bolivia severed official relations with Israel over the war in Gaza while two other Latin American countries recalled their ambassadors to Tel Aviv for consultations.
Bolivian Deputy Foreign Minister Freddy Mamani said in a press conference on Tuesday evening that Bolivia “decided to sever diplomatic relations with the Israeli state in rejection and condemnation of the aggressive and disproportionate Israeli military attack taking place in the Gaza Strip.”
Presidential Affairs Minister Maria Neela Prada also announced that the country will send humanitarian aid to Gaza.
She said in the same press conference: “We demand an end to the attacks” in the Gaza Strip “that have so far caused the death of thousands of civilians and the forced displacement of Palestinians.”
On Wednesday, Israel accused Bolivia of “surrendering to terrorism and the Ayatollah regime in Iran.”
In a statement, the Foreign Ministry also sought to downplay Bolivia’s decision, saying that “relations between the two countries have been devoid of substance in any case” since Luis Arce was sworn in as president.
Meanwhile, Hamas, which runs the besieged Gaza Strip, welcomed Bolivia’s decision and urged Arab countries that have normalized their relations with Tel Aviv to do the same.
Neighboring Colombia and Chile recalled their ambassadors for consultations to condemn the killing of civilians in Gaza and call for a ceasefire.
Historically, left-leaning Latin American countries sympathized with the Palestinian cause, while more right-wing countries tended to follow the United States’ lead.
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Chile has the largest and oldest Palestinian community outside the Arab world.
Colombian President Gustavo Petro also wrote on X, calling the attacks a “massacre of the Palestinian people.”
Other Latin American countries, including Mexico and Brazil, also called for a ceasefire.
Bolivia is among the first countries to announce the end of diplomatic relations with Israel over its war in Gaza, which came after the Hamas militant group launched an unprecedented attack on Israel, killing 1,400 people and capturing about 240. Among the dead were at least 13 citizens of several Latin American countries, and about 21 others are still missing.
So far, at least 8,525 Palestinians have been killed in the current Israeli war on Gaza.
Bolivia severed its diplomatic relations 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 that more than 1.4 million of them have become homeless due to the ongoing Israeli bombing.
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