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Bolivia Cuts Ties with Israel

January 15, 2009
Evo Morales, the president of Bolivia, says he is breaking off ties with Israel in protest against its war in Gaza, which has left more than 1,000 Palestinians dead.

Evo Morales, the president of Bolivia, says he is breaking off ties with Israel in protest against its war in Gaza, which has left more than 1,000 Palestinians dead.

Morales said on Wednesday that he would seek to get top Israeli officials, including Ehud Olmert, the Israeli prime minister, charged with "genocide" in the International Criminal Court.

The Bolivian president also dismissed the United Nations and its "Insecurity Council" for its "lukewarm" response to the crisis and said the general assembly should hold an emergency session to condemn the invasion.

"Considering these grave attacks against ... humanity, Bolivia will stop having diplomatic relations with Israel," Morales told diplomats in the Bolivian capital, La Paz.

He also said that Shimon Peres, the Israeli president, should be stripped of
his Nobel Peace Prize for failing to stop the invasion.

Palestinian 'holocaust'

Morales's move follows the decision by his ally Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan president, to expel Israel's ambassador and embassy staff last week because of the offensive, calling it a "holocaust".

On Wednesday, Venezuela's foreign ministry said it had broken off diplomatic relations with Israel over the Gaza offensive.

Venezuela "has decided to break off diplomatic relations with the state of Israel given the inhumane persecution of the Palestinian people", the foreign ministry said.

More than 1,000 Palestinians have now died in Israel's offensive in Gaza, around 40 per cent of whom were civilians, aid agencies and Palestinian medics say.

Thirteen Israelis have also died, four from rocket fire from Gaza.

January 15, 2009
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