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Montevideo, February 23rd 2024 - 16:57 UTC

 

 

Divergent positions: Argentina backs Israel, then condemns attacks in Palestine

Thursday, November 2nd 2023 - 08:39 UTC
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Hamas must still release the Argentine hostages, the Foreign Ministry also said. Hamas must still release the Argentine hostages, the Foreign Ministry also said.

Three weeks apart, the Argentine Foreign Ministry issued two communiqués with different positions on the Arab-Israeli conflict. In the first, dated October 7, Argentina clearly supports the position of Israel, which claims its position as the nation under attack and condemns the attacks of the terrorist group Hamas against the Israeli population.

But in a second report, dated November 1, Argentina follows the line of other countries of the South American continent in condemning the reprisal attacks carried out by Israel against the Palestinian population in the offensive against Hamas.

The Argentine Foreign Ministry criticizes the escalation of violence in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank and reiterates that nothing justifies the violation of international humanitarian law and the obligation to protect civilians, without ignoring Israel's right to legitimate self-defense. It therefore condemns the attack by the Israeli Defense Forces against civilian infrastructure in Gaza and the Jabalia refugee camp, where between 150 and 400 deaths have been reported following the dropping of a bomb by Israeli aircraft.

It also recalls that the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution calling for an immediate, durable and sustainable humanitarian ceasefire leading to a cessation of hostilities, which Argentina voted in favor of.

“Argentina has condemned in unequivocal terms the terrorist attacks perpetrated by Hamas last October 7 and recognizes Israel's right to self-defense. However, nothing justifies the violation of international humanitarian law, and the obligation to protect the civilian population in armed conflicts, without making any distinction whatsoever,” the document went on while condemning Israel's attack against the Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza, “which resulted in hundreds of deaths and injuries.”

“It is essential to immediately stop the attacks against civilian infrastructure, especially those aimed at ensuring the provision of essential services in the Gaza Strip, including hospitals, water desalination plants, and centers to accommodate refugees,” the administration of President Alberto Fernández further noted while insisting that humanitarian aid “must reach the affected population without restrictions and as a matter of urgency,” thus joining the United Nations warning that the current levels of assistance were insufficient.

Argentina also called for the immediate release of the South American country's nationals held hostage by the terrorist organization Hamas.

In response, the Delegation of Argentine-Israeli Associations (DAIA) criticized the Government's move.

“DAIA condemns the criticisms made by @CancilleriaARG towards Israel and ratifies its right to defense after the Hamas terrorist attack, which killed more than 1400 people and has 239 kidnapped among men, women, elderly, and children, of whom 21 are Argentines,” said DAIA on X. The Jewish organization also underlined the “right to defense that a democratic state has.”

“It is time to differentiate from the pusillanimous positions of some countries in the region that have decided to break relations with Israel and condemn its legitimate right to defense,” DAIA went on after Bolivia severed ties with Israel while Chile and Colombia recalled their ambassadors in Tel Aviv for consultations.

“It is essential that Argentina, as well as the international community, raise its voice and explicitly repudiate the violence unleashed by Hamas, which intends to murder Jews and lead the Middle East once again down the path of death and destruction,” DAIA insisted.

“As a matter of urgency, the Argentine authorities must show their commitment to use all the resources at their disposal to obtain the freedom of the hostages and their prompt return home,” the statement added.

Meanwhile, Buenos Aires authorities have launched an investigation into the appearance of anti-Semitic graffiti painted on the front door of a building in the middle-class Caballito neighborhood similar to those that surfaced in different European cities since Oct. 7.

“This is not graffiti, it is a crime, and in Argentina being anti-Semitic is a crime,” DAIA President Jorge Knoblovits said. “This has just begun,” he added. If “they are capable of painting a building where a Jew lives, as happened in the Holocaust, I consider it very serious,” he stressed. “Anti-Semites are everywhere, they are part of the same ideological matrix of hatred, the same that Hamas proposes with the elimination of the Jewish people,” he added.

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