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Venezuela's Hugo Chavez expels Israeli ambassador 1-6-2009

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Filed: Timeline


Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has ordered the Israeli ambassador to leave the country in a show of solidarity with the besieged Gazans.

The Venezuelan Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the government has decided to expel the Israeli ambassador and part of the personnel of the Israeli embassy to protest Israel's hostilities against the Palestinians in Gaza, AP reported.

Chavez had earlier condemned the attacks on Gaza and called on Venezuelan Jews to take a stand against the 'murderers' in Tel Aviv. Now I hope that the Venezuelan Jewish community speaks out against this barbarism. Do it. Don't you strongly reject all acts of persecution? he stated. In a televised speech on Tuesday, Chavez said How far will this barbarism go? The president of Israel should be taken before an international court together with the president of the United States, if the world had any conscience, he added. Chavez also urged the people of Israel to 'stand up' against Tel Aviv's 'new holocaust'. He derided the Israeli military, saying, They are cowards... bombing innocent people. What great soldiers they are, how brave the soldiers of Israel are.''

Mauritania, Jordan, and Egypt have also summoned their ambassadors to Israel to express discontent with the ongoing Israeli strike on Gaza. Medics say at least 660 Palestinians, including 215 children and 98 women, have been killed so far in the Israeli onslaught on the Gaza Strip.

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