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Bolivia has decided to sever diplomatic relations with Israel over the ongoing war with Hamas, marking the first nation to do so since the conflict’s commencement.
María Nela Prada, a minister under President Luis Arce, disclosed this decision during a press briefing, asserting the necessity for a halt to the “attacks on the Gaza Strip which have so far claimed thousands of civilian lives and caused the forced displacement of Palestinians.” Deputy Foreign Minister Freddy Mamani echoed this sentiment, emphasizing the move as a “condemnation of the aggressive and disproportionate Israeli military offensive in the Gaza Strip and its threat to international peace and security.” Bolivia has also urged Israel to lift its blockade, which restricts the provision of essential life-sustaining resources such as food and water.
Bolivia’s past relationship with Israel has seen similar actions. Under the leadership of former President Evo Morales in 2008, Bolivia initially cut ties with Israel in protest against its actions in Gaza. However, these ties were reestablished in 2020 by then-President Jeanine Áñez. Former President Morales recently voiced his concern about the “horrific situation” facing the Palestinian people, even suggesting that Israel be labeled a terrorist state.
In a recent meeting, President Arce assured the Palestinian ambassador to Bolivia of his nation’s commitment to “support international initiatives to guarantee humanitarian aid, in compliance with international law.” The ongoing conflict has reportedly led to the deaths of 8,525 individuals due to Israel’s retaliatory strikes since October 7, as stated by Gaza health authorities.