Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Israel: Tel Aviv Expresses "Deep Disappointment" at Withdrawal of Three Latin Ambassadors

Israel on Wednesday (July 30) expressed its “deep disappointment” at the withdrawal of the ambassadors of Perú, Chile and El Salvador in protest over the offensive in Gaza, and said it was a “show of support for a terrorist organization: Hamas."

A Foreign Ministry statement expressed “Israel’s deep disappointment at the hasty decision by the governments of El Salvador, Perú and Chile to summon their ambassadors for consultation."

“This step is a show of support for Hamas, recognized as a terrorist organization in many countries," added the statement.

The three countries' decision, which followed similar measures last week by Brazil and Ecuador, came in protest for what they considered a disproportionate use of force against the civilian population in Gaza.

COMMENT: It should be noted that all three Latin nations that have withdrawn their ambassadors from Perú, Chile and El Salvador, respectively: President Ollanta Humala; President Michelle Bachelet; and President Salvador Sánchez Cerén all represent Socialist, left-wing or FMLN parties.

Since Israel on July 8 launched Operation protective Edge to stop rocket attacks from Gaza, at least 1,280 Palestinians have been killed, two thirds of them civilians, and 56 Israelis have died, three of them troops.

Chile announced on Tuesday (July 29) it was recalling its ambassador to Israel because it considered that “the scale and intensity of Israeli operations in Gaza violate the principle of proportionality in the use of force” and therefore do not respect “fundamental rules of international humanitarian law.”

The Chilean Government also condemned the firing of Palestinian rockets against civilian targets in Israel, but stressed that proportionality is indispensable to justify legitimate defense.

Perú, on its part, regretted the end of the ceasefire and “new Israeli military operations in Gaza that have caused the deaths of more than a thousand victims, many of them civilians, women and children."

Israel said in its statement that it “expected countries that oppose terrorism to behave responsibly and not reward terrorists."