- June 3, 2010
Nicaragua cuts off ties with Israel in protest at attacking Freedom Flotilla
MANAGUA, — The government of Nicaragua severed Tuesday its diplomatic ties with Israel in response to its deadly attack on the Freedom Flotilla aid convoy bound for the besieged Gaza Strip.
In a statement read on the radio, government spokeswoman Rosario Murillo underscored the illegal nature of the attack on a humanitarian mission in clear violation of international and humanitarian law.
Nicaragua reiterated its support for the Palestinian people and urged an end to the blockade on Gaza.
In January 2009, Venezuela and Bolivia had cut off their diplomatic ties with Israel in the wake of its war on Gaza. Cuba has not have relations with Israel since 1973.
The attack also was strongly denounced by Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez who described it as a brutal massacre and an act of war against unarmed civilians who tried to break the criminal blockade imposed by Israel on Gaza people.
Chavez stressed that Venezuela would continue to condemn Israel as long as it did not renounce its terrorist and criminal nature.
For its part, the Norwegian socialist left party, a partner in the government, called on the countries that have relations with Israel to ban arms trade with it in response to the massacre committed by its troops against non-violent activists.
Dagbaldet newspaper quoted Kristin Halvorsen, the party leader and the minister of education, as saying that all countries should do as Norway did and cut all forms of arms trade with Israel.
Dr. Buthayna Shaaban, the political advisor to the Syrian president, told Al-Manar satellite channel on Tuesday that the Arabs, the regional countries and the international community have the opportunity to lift the siege on Gaza once and for all and punish Israel for its crimes.
Dr. Shaaban added that the best response to Israel’s latest crime is to pool the efforts around the world and send dozens of ships to Gaza until the siege ends as long as the US has decided that Israel is above international law.
For his part, Sheikh Yousuf Al-Qaradawi, the head of the international union of Muslim scholars, renewed his call on the Arab leaders, their League, and the Palestinian Authority to withdraw their peace initiative that was killed by Israel many times.
Sheikh Qaradawi also called for boycotting American and Israeli products in response to the attack on Freedom Flotilla convoy.
In a separate incident, thousands of Jordanians participated Tuesday evening in a ceremony in Amman dubbed “the wrath of free people” held in solidarity with the Freedom Flotilla activists.