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Venezuela Expels Israel's Ambassador

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    Venezuela Expels Israel's Ambassador

    by Hana Levi Julian

    (IsraelNN.com) The government of Venezuela announced Wednesday morning that it will expel Israel's ambassador in response to the IDF military operation in Gaza, which it condemned roundly.

    "In this tragic and indignant hour, the people of Venezuela manifest their unconditional solidarity with the heroic Palestinian people, share in the sadness that overcomes thousands of families through the loss of their loved ones, and extends to them the hand by affirming that the government of Venezuela will not rest until it sees those responsible for these criminal atrocities severely punished," the Venezuelan foreign minister said in a statement read on state television by the anchor.

    Venezuela also claimed it is trying to supply food and medical assistance to Gaza, according to the Associated Press. Humanitarian aid to Gaza is primarily supplied through United Nations-based international aid agencies and shipments donated from time to time by Egypt and Jordan.

    Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez ordered his Foreign Ministry to expel Israeli Ambassador Shlomo Cohen and all embassy personnel. Chavez has been a loud and frequent critic of the U.S. and its allies.

    Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni would decide later in the day whether to reciprocate and expel Venezuelan diplomats from Israel in response to the move.

    He added that Cohen had been notified in a letter from the government in Caracas that he and his staff had 72 hours in which to pack up and leave the country. No mention was made of officially severing diplomatic ties, however -- a significant omission.

    The Venezuelan president has developed a close relationship with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the past two years in a mutual effort to back other countries' "attempting to liberate themselves from the imperialist yoke." Chavez has stated support for Hizbullah and for the Iranian nuclear program but expressed objections to Ahmadinejad's statements that Israel should be eliminated.

    Israel's Foreign Ministry responded in a statement that the Jewish State will continue to protect itself from its enemies, including Hamas and Iran, Voice of Israel government radio reported Wednesday morning.

    Every country must decide for itself whether it supports terrorism, or chooses to fight it, the Foreign Ministry said.


    ALSO


    Mauritania calls back Israel ambassador for talks


    One of few Arab nations to hold relations with Israel announces that following IDF operation in Gaza, it has called back its ambassador in Tel Aviv for consultation[/SIZ]

    Reuters
    Published: 01.05.09, 20:09 / Israel News

    Mauritania has called back its ambassador to Israel for consultation, a source at the Foreign Ministry said on Monday.

    Protesters took to the streets of the Mauritanian capital Nouakchott last week to demand that the Islamic country sever diplomatic ties with Israel after the Jewish state launched a military offensive in the Gaza Strip.

    "We have recalled our ambassador in Tel Aviv for consultations," said the source who declined to be named, adding that the ambassador was on his way back.

    The northwest African state is one of only three Arab countries to have diplomatic relations with Israel, along with Egypt and Jordan.

    The ambassador, Ahmed Ould Teguedi, has held his post since Mauritania opened relations with the Jewish state in 1999.

    Gunmen attacked the Israeli embassy in Nouakchott last February after political parties called for then-President Sidi Mohamed Ould Cheikh Abdallahi to break off ties with Israel to reflect anger over events in Gaza.

    Protests against the latest attacks in Gaza, which have killed more than 500 people, have broken out across the Arab world, while diplomats have called for a ceasefire.


    From CNN​


    Venezuela expelled Israel's ambassador to the country Tuesday and accused Israel of attempting to carry out "genocide" against the Palestinian people.

    "In this tragic and indignant hour, the people of Venezuela manifest their unconditional solidarity with the heroic Palestinian people, share in the sadness that overcomes thousands of families through the loss of their loved ones, and extends to them a hand by affirming that the government of Venezuela will not rest until it sees those responsible for these criminal atrocities severely punished," the Venezuelan foreign minister said in a statement read by an anchor on state television.

    The statement added that the government "condemns strongly the flagrant violations of international law" by Israel and "denounces their planned utilization of state terrorism."

    "For the above-mentioned reasons, the government of Venezuela has decided to expel the ambassador of Israel and some of the personnel of the Israeli Embassy in Venezuela," it added.

    In a news conference broadcast by state-run Venezuelan television, President Hugo Chavez blasted the Israeli military.

    "They are cowards," he said. "It's as though a boxing professional were to come here and challenge you to box. Well, how courageous! How courageous is the Israeli army!"

    It said that Chavez "makes a fraternal call to the Jewish people throughout the world to oppose these criminal policies of the state of Israel that recall the worst pages of the history of the 20th century.

    "With the genocide of the Palestinian people, the state of Israel will never be able to offer its people the perspective of a peace that is both necessary and long-lasting."

    Mark Regev, a spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, was unswayed.

    "I haven't heard the details yet, but you know the regime in Venezuela has been one of the few countries in the world that gives automatic support to the Iranian extremists, and it doesn't surprise me that they have affinity with groups like Hamas and Hezbollah," he told CNN.
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    He predicted that other countries would not follow suit, even in the Middle East.

    "I think, even in the Muslim and Arab countries, there is a fair amount of understanding for what Israel has had to do here," he said.


    Israel News

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