The Palestinian movement Hamas has cheered recent actions by the Chilean Senate opposed to Israel’s annexation efforts. Earlier this month, the Senate voted in favor of a resolution that would, among other things, boycott Israeli products. In a response, the embassy of Israel in Chile has said it hopes that “moderate voices in Chile will prevail, in order to continue promoting peace and building cooperative relations between Chile and Israel.”
On its official website, the Palestinian movement Hamas wrote that its spokesperson Hazem Qasem “has hailed a resolution by the Chilean Senate calling for boycotting all Israeli goods in response to steps taken by the Israeli occupation in violation of international law.” Earlier, the Senate had approved a resolution in response to the planned annexation of illegally-occupied parts of Palestine by the Israelian government.
The resolution, which was approved by senators from different political sectors, promotes a boycott against Israeli products produced by Israeli colonies in occupied Palestinian territory.
According to the resolution, “Chile has recognized the State of Palestine as a ‘free, independent and sovereign state,’’ in accordance with the resolutions adopted by the United Nations, thus reiterating the position of not recognizing any Israeli sovereignty over the Occupied Territories since June 5, 1967, including the West Bank and East Jerusalem, whose colonization is considered a war crime since 1949, under the Fourth Geneva Convention and the Rome Statute.”
An annexation of the Palestinian lands would affect thousands of Chileans of Palestinian origin, the resolution reads, which is why the senators urge President Piñera to “review all treaties between Chile and Israel to ensure that they include specific reference to the borders of Israel, recognized as the borders prior to the war of June 1967, according to United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334.”
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Israeli Embassy in Chile: “What is Needed Are Moderate Voices”
The Israeli Embassy in Chile responded to the statement from Hamas and said the words of spokesman Qasem were “consistent with the narrative that has been deployed by the leaders of the Palestinian Community in Chile, and that is really worrying, because what is needed today are moderate voices, which contribute to dialogue, and not radical voices, which encourage hatred and violence.”
According to the embassy, “Hamas is considered globally as a terrorist group, by the United States, Japan, the European Union and other democratic and liberal countries. It is not surprising that a terrorist and dictatorial group like Hamas … also supports trade discrimination, in this case a boycott of Israel. We hope moderate voices in Chile will prevail, in order to continue promoting peace and building cooperative relations between Chile and Israel.”
This is not the first time Chilean politicians have spoken out against the plans of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Foreign Affairs Minister Teodoro Ribera previously said that his government was closely following the possible annexation and that there were concerns about the possible consequences the illegal actions from the Israeli government could have.
Supported by a peace plan for the Middle East drafted by the Trump administration, Netanyahu announced in January the annexation of one-third of the already illegally-occupied West Bank, which is Palestine territory. Israel has occupied the lands since the 1967 Middle East War. Between two and three million Palestinians and some 400,000 Israelis live there. The Israeli settlements are seen as illegal by the international community, and United Nations spokespersons, among them former Chilean president Michelle Bachelet, have called the annexation plans illegal.