At least eight countries have pulled their ambassadors from Israel since it launched a war against the militant group Hamas about a month ago, citing humanitarian concerns about the escalating military situation in the Gaza Strip.
Israel has escalated its bombardment of Gaza in recent weeks following a deadly surprise attack from Hamas on Oct. 7 in Israel. The group is designated by the United States as a terrorist organization.
But many international humanitarian groups have warned that Israel’s attacks on Gaza and its blockade on needed supplies to the territory will lead to a humanitarian crisis in the region.
In protest, at least eight countries have pulled their ambassadors from Israel. In addition, Bolivia became the first country to fully sever its diplomatic ties with Israel in the wake of the ongoing fighting.
Here are the countries that have pulled their ambassadors so far.
The government of South Africa announced Monday that it was pulling its ambassador from Israel and ending its diplomatic mission to the country.
“The South African government has decided to withdraw all its diplomats in Tel Aviv for consultation,” Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni said a press conference Monday.
She added that the Cabinet is “disappointed by the refusal of the Israeli Government to respect international law and the United Nations resolutions with impunity.”
South Africa previously called on Israel to “adhere to its obligations under international law and protect civilians” in a statement last week.
Jordan is a major U.S. ally in the Middle East and has absorbed generations of Palestinian refugees.
The government said at the time that its decision was an “expression of Jordan’s position of rejection and condemnation of the raging Israeli war on Gaza, which is killing innocent people and causing an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe.”
Jordan has repeatedly called for a cease-fire and a two-state solution between Palestine and Israel in the region.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken met Saturday with King Abdullah II for the second time since the war broke out to discuss the conflict in the region.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan accused the Israeli government of intentionally violating international law and killing civilians in Gaza in an attempt to “gradually erase” Palestinians from history in its decision Saturday to recall its ambassador from Israel.
“We will support formulas that will bring peace and calm to the region. We will not be supportive of plans that will further darken the lives of Palestinians, that will gradually erase them from the scene of history,” he said, according to Turkish media.
The Israeli government pushed back, calling the Turkish decision “another step to side with terrorist organization Hamas.”
Chilean President Gabriel Boric condemned Israel’s actions in the Gaza Strip and announced last week that Chile would be pulling its ambassador from Israel.
The Chilean government said in a statement that it is concerned that Israel is violating international law in its attacks on Gaza.
It said that Israel’s operations were “collective punishment of the Palestinian civilian population in Gaza,” adding that it does not respect “fundamental norms of International Law.”
Colombia announced last week that it would also recall its ambassador from Israel and condemned the killing of civilians in Gaza.
In its statement, the Colombian government emphasized the need for a cease-fire and urged the Israeli government to follow international law in its effort to eliminate Hamas.
“Chad condemns the loss of human lives of many innocent civilians and calls for a ceasefire leading to a lasting solution to the Palestinian question,” the Chadian government spokesperson’s statement said, according to CNN.
Honduran President Xiomara Castro announced last week that Honduras was recalling its ambassador from Israel in statements posted to X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.
Honduras cited the “the serious humanitarian situation suffered by the Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip” as a reason for Castro’s decision.
The Foreign Affairs Ministry said in a statement that “Honduras energetically condemns the genocide and serious violations of international humanitarian law that the civilian Palestinian population is suffering in the Gaza Strip,” The Associated Press reported.
Bahrain’s Parliament said that its ambassador to Israel returned to their country while the Israeli ambassador to Bahrain had already left, Reuters reported.
“The Council of Representatives affirms that the Israeli ambassador in the kingdom of Bahrain has left Bahrain and the kingdom of Bahrain has decided on the return of the Bahrain ambassador to Israel,” the parliament said in a statement, according to Reuters.
However, Israel has maintained that relations between the two countries are “stable,” the wire service noted.
The Bolivian government announced last week that it would be cutting diplomatic ties with Israel over the country’s war with Hamas, making it the first country to cut ties with Israel since the start of its conflict.
Bolivia previously broke ties with Israel in 2008 under former President Evo Morales’s left-leaning leadership in protest of Israel’s actions in Gaza, but relations were restored in 2020.
Source: The Hill