Israel expels Venezuelan envoys

Caracas says it is "proud" to have ambassador forced out after diplomatic ties cut.

    Demonstrators in Venezuela supported Chavez's decision to expel the Israeli ambassador [File: EPA]

    'Proud of expulsion'

    "The response of the state of Israel is weak, late and, in any case for us, it's an honour," Nicolas Maduro, Venezuela's foreign minister, told Al Jazeera.

    "We're proud that the state of Israel that exists today, led by these criminals, made this decision."

    Maduro also denied his government was anti-Semitic, complaining that counties criticising Israel are "automatically added to the list of anti-Semites".

    "All of the Muslim, Jewish and Christian communities know religious discrimination is not a problem that has, or will have, a place in our society," Maduro said.

    Abraham Levy, a Jewish community leader, had accused Venezuela of anti-Semitism.

    Maduro also said that Caracas had no relations with Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, or Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shia group, which fought a war against Israel in 2006.

    More than 1,300 Palestinians died in Israel's war on Gaza, which lasted three-weeks, many of them civilians. Thirteen Israeli soldiers died during the same period. 

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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