Accusing Israel of ‘war crimes,’ Bolivia cuts diplomatic ties with Jerusalem

Bolivian president accuses Israel of war crimes; this is “a surrender to terrorism” responds the Foreign Ministry.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Israel condemned Bolivia Wednesday for breaking off diplomatic relations over what it called IDF “war crimes” in fighting the Hamas terrorist regime in the Gaza Strip.

“The government of Bolivia’s decision to cut diplomatic ties with Israel is a surrender to terrorism and to the Ayatollah’s regime in Iran,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The move also attests to La Paz’s “values,” it said, since “By taking this step, the Bolivian government is aligning itself with the Hamas terrorist organization, which slaughtered over 1,400 Israelis and abducted 240 people, including children, women, babies and the elderly.”

Bolivia installed an anti-Israel, Socialist-led government in its last elections three years ago that held onto ties reestablished briefly by an interim right-wing government. However, the Foreign Ministry noted, relations between the two have been “devoid of content.”

On Tuesday, Deputy Foreign Minister, Freddy Mamani Machaca said at a press conference that the decision had been made “in repudiation and condemnation of the aggressive and disproportionate Israeli military offensive in the Gaza Strip and its threat to international peace and security.”

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“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,” Minister of the Presidency María Nela Prada said separately.

President Luis Arce had called Israeli actions in Gaza “war crimes” the previous day, in a call for humanitarian aid to be provided to the Palestinians.

Israel declared war on Hamas immediately after its invasion and mass slaughter on October 7 in Gaza envelope kibbutzim and towns, committing such war crimes as burning whole families alive and taking 240 hostages. The IDF has been bombing military targets in the Gaza Strip since then, which Hamas embeds in civilian areas, including under hospitals, near schools and in mosques, specifically to use noncombatants as human shields.

The army began a ground incursion into the northern part of the coastal enclave on Friday, after warning Gaza civilians for two weeks to flee southward so they would not get caught up in the military offensive. Some 800,000 heeded the call, but Hamas blocked roads and shot at others trying to leave, and approximately 200,000 remained.

None of Bolivia’s top officials mentioned what Hamas did, nor did they note that the terror organization continues to fire rockets indiscriminately at Israeli towns and cities in an effort to murder civilians. Well over 8,000 rockets have been launched, with hundreds of them failing and killing their own people, including at a hospital in Gaza City.

Hours after Bolivia’s announcement, its South American neighbors Colombia and Chile, also led by left-wing presidents, recalled their ambassadors to Israel for “consultations.”

Chilean President Gabriel Boric said that Jerusalem was committing “unacceptable violations of international humanitarian law” in acting in Gaza to protect Israel’s citizenry.

Colombian President Gustavo Petro accused Israel of committing a “massacre of the Palestinian people” in a post on X and compared the Jewish state to the Nazis. Israel’s Foreign Ministry condemned his remarks as well, saying he was encouraging “the horrific acts of Hamas terrorists” with his “hostile and antisemitic statements.”

Fellow South American leader, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, had already blasted Israel on Friday, charging that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was “insane” and “wants to wipe out the Gaza Strip.”