Israel expressed “deep disappointment” Wednesday after Chile, El Salvador and Peru recalled their ambassadors over its military campaign in Gaza, saying they are encouraging Hamas in its attacks on the Jewish state.
On Tuesday, El Salvador’s foreign ministry recalled its envoy for urgent consultations, speaking of what it called “indiscriminate” Israeli bombing of Gaza.
The same day, Chile ordered its ambassador home in response to what it said was a “new outbreak of Israeli military operations” and condemned what it called the “collective punishment” of Palestinians in Gaza.
And Peru did the same, saying it “deeply regretted” Israel’s “interruption of a ceasefire with new military operations against Gaza” while also criticizing rocket fire from Gaza into Israel.
Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said in a statement that these moves constitute “encouragement for Hamas, a group recognized as a terror organization by many countries around the world.
“Israel expects countries who oppose terrorism to act responsibly and not to hand terrorists a prize. So far, every time Israel accepted plans for establishing a ceasefire and restoring calm, it was countered by Hamas’s sustained rocket fire.
“El Salvador, Chile and Peru would have been much better advised to promote the international move intended to assist Israel in its efforts to defend innocent civilians and instate a durable ceasefire with the demilitarization of Gaza.”
Two more Latin American countries, Brazil and Ecuador, recalled their envoys last week.
Palestinian sources in Gaza claim more than 1,300 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza in 23 days of fighting between Hamas and Israel. Israel says that the figures include hundreds of armed terrorists and combatants. During the course of the operation Hamas has fired over 2,000 rockets at Israeli towns and cities.
The conflict has also cost the lives of 53 soldiers and three civilians on the Israeli side.
Israel launched Operation Protective Edge on July 8 to try and stem the rocket fire by terrorists in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip as well as destroy a network of dozens of tunnels dug under the border into Israel. In the past three weeks terrorists have launched a number of raids from the tunnels, ambushing IDF forces and killing several soldiers.