This week, Bolivia declared Israel a “terrorist state” while renouncing a visa exemption agreement with Israel in protest over the ongoing Israeli military offense Operation Protective Edge in Gaza which has killed more than 1,300 Palestinians and has left over 7,000 wounded, most of which have been women and children.
Bolivian President Evo Morales cancelled the 1972 agreement which allowed Israelis to travel freely to Bolivia saying, “means, in other words, we are declaring (Israel) a terrorist state.”
Morales explained to Bolivian citizens that Operation Protective edge is a clear indication that “Israel is not a guarantor of the principles of respect for life and the elementary precepts of rights that govern the peaceful and harmonious coexistence of our international community.”
According to RT, the announcement came after a cabinet meeting of the government of Evo Morales which decided, “The Bolivian state and people have made a firm decision to terminate the agreement on visas to Israel, from August 17, 1972, signed under a regime of dictatorship in Bolivia and that allowed Israeli citizens to enter Bolivia freely without even entry visa.”
Earlier in July though, Morales filed a request with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to prosecute Israel for “crimes against humanity” for it’s siege on Gaza, occupation of Palestinian territories and targeting of civilians.
Other Latin American countries including Chile, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador and El Salvador recalled their ambassadors in Israel this week for consultations due to the increased violence in the Gaza Strip against civilians.
Just this week, Israel struck a UN School in Gaza, leaving at least 20 dead, mostly children. This horrific incident has brought worldwide condemnation especially a twitter storm condemning the targeting of schools and children.
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon condemned the deadly attack by Israel against theUN school in the besieged Gaza Strip.
“It is outrageous. It is unjustifiable. And it demands accountability and justice,” said the UN chief in Costa Rica on Wednesday.
In a video that has gone viral, a spokesman for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which provides aid to Palestinians in Gaza, broke down in tears during a TV interview with Al Jazeera in the aftermath of Wednesday’s fatal attack on the UN-run school, used as shelter for families and children.
Chris Gunness, a spokesman for the UNRWA, was unable to hold in his tears and trauma on air. “The rights of Palestinians, even their children, are wholesale denied,” he official said before breaking down sobbing in front of the camera.
“There are times when tears speak more eloquently than words. Mine pale into insignificance compared with Gaza’s,” Gunness said, as cited by Reuters.
The UN’s tone criticizing Israel has intensified indicating a shift in rhetoric and possibly accountability for Israel over it’s major civilian deaths, where many have referred to as a “massacre” or “slow genocide”.
Bolivia’s President Morales, has become outspoken over human rights abuses across the world supporting indigenous populations, and criticizing imperialistic meddling in foreign nations.
Ban Ki-moon condemns #Gaza school attack, demands accountability & justice. More updates: http://t.co/WiohNZsvZ5 pic.twitter.com/GmsI1KHYyc
— United Nations (@UN) July 31, 2014
Feature photo | Bolivia’s President Evo Morales. Matilde Campodonico | AP