Chile issues decision on accreditation of new Israeli ambassador

Chile announced that it will receive the credentials of the new Israeli ambassador on September 30, after President Gabriel Borek canceled that ceremony last week in response to the killing of a Palestinian teenager in the occupied West Bank.

Ambassador Gil Artzilli had come to the La Moneda Palace in Santiago Thursday to present his credentials with other diplomats, before notifying him of the postponement of the ceremony, which sparked an outcry in Tel Aviv and the Jewish community.

The Chilean Foreign Ministry said, in a statement yesterday, Saturday, that “the decision to postpone the presentation of credentials must be understood, given the political sensitivity resulting from the death of a 17-year-old Palestinian boy in the northern West Bank during an Israeli army operation on the same day.” She explained that “the government of Chile has rescheduled the presentation of the credentials of Israel’s ambassador-designate, Gil Artzili, on September 30.” On Friday, Israel condemned Chile’s “extremely dangerous and unprecedented behaviour”, and summoned the Chilean ambassador to attend on Sunday to express its displeasure.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry announced that Chilean President Gabriel Borek’s refusal to accept the credentials of Tel Aviv’s ambassador, Gil Artzeli, “seriously” harms the relations of the two countries.

The Chilean government said that the postponement of the ceremony had an “exceptional character”, and expressed its “persistent desire to maintain a fraternal and constructive relationship with the State of Israel and its people on the basis of respect, dialogue and cooperation.”

Uday Salah, 17, was shot dead by the Israeli occupation forces in an operation near Jenin in the occupied West Bank. Chilean President Borek is known to be a critic of Israel, and when he was an MP, he supported a bill proposing a boycott of Israeli goods from settlements in the West Bank, Jerusalem and the occupied Golan Heights.

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