Bolivia severs diplomatic ties with Israel amid Hamas conflict

Colombian President Gustavo Petro, earlier this month, suggested that Bogotá could make a similar move.

Published: October 31, 2023 8:43pm

Bolivia on Tuesday announced the end of formal diplomatic relations with Israel, citing the ongoing conflict between Jerusalem and the Gaza-based Hamas terrorist group that has raged since the latter conducted a raid on Israeli territory earlier this month.

The Bolivian government has voiced opposition to Israel's retaliatory strikes on the Gaza Strip in recent weeks, highlighting the civilian death toll and insisting that the response to the Oct. 7 raid had been disproportionate to the damage Hamas inflicted upon Israel. The raid saw terrorists seize roughly 200 hostages and kill more than 1,000 civilians.

"We demand an end to the attacks on the Gaza Strip which have so far claimed thousands of civilian lives and caused the forced displacement of Palestinians," said Minister of the Bolivian Presidency María Nela Prada when announcing the split.

In 2008, Bolivia severed diplomatic relations with Israel, citing similar reasons. The two nations resumed relations in 2020, according to The Hill.

Bolivian Deputy Foreign Minister Freddy Mamani further categorized the Tuesday split as a "condemnation of the aggressive and disproportionate Israeli military offensive in the Gaza Strip and its threat to international peace and security."

The severance of ties between Jerusalem and La Paz comes as Israel attracts mounting scrutiny for its retaliatory actions in Gaza. Colombian President Gustavo Petro, earlier this month, suggested that  Bogotá could make a similar move.

"If we have to suspend foreign relations with Israel, we suspend them. We do not support genocides," he said, suggesting that Israel had in effect turned Gaza into a "concentration camp" for Palestinians.

Intense online exchanges between Israeli Ambassador Gali Dagan and Columbian officials prompted Colombian Foreign Minister Alvaro Leyva to suggest that Dagan leave the country. He later clarified that the government had not expelled Dagan.

Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on X, formerly Twitter.

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