Chile president rebuffs new Israeli ambassador 'over killings of Palestinian children': report

Chile president rebuffs new Israeli ambassador 'over killings of Palestinian children': report
Israel's new ambassador to Santiago was told to leave before he was scheduled to present his credentials to the Chilean president, over repeated Israeli aggression against Palestinians, according to reports.
2 min read
16 September, 2022
Boric is a strong critic of Israel, which he once called a 'murderous state' [Getty]

Chile President Gabriel Boric refused to accept the credentials of a new Israeli ambassador on Thursday, allegedly over Israel's killing of Palestinians.

Gil Artzyeli was reportedly at the presidential palace waiting to meet Boric to be officially appointed as ambassador to Chile before he was told to leave.

"Artzyeli had been scheduled to present his credentials to Boric as a formality, but the Chilean government informed him that the ceremony had been canceled because of Israel killing children in Gaza," Israel’s Ynet reported.

It was not clear if this was in reference to a specific incident, such as last month's bombing of Gaza, or Israel’s continued aggression against Palestinians, which has left dozens killed or injured in recent months.

A 17-year-old Palestinian was shot dead in the West Bank overnight Thursday, the latest casualty in the occupied territory.

Live Story

The move could further complicate relations between Chile and Israel, already cold since left-winger Boric’s election win in March and his outspokenness against Tel Aviv.

But the ceremony in which the new Israeli ambassador is expected to present his credentials has reportedly been pushed back to next month.

Artzyeli said the Chilean foreign ministry apologised to him and the Israeli government over what happened.

Several pro-Israeli groups in the Latin American country and around the world slammed the move, accusing Boric of "antisemitism".

The left-wing Chilean head of state - who called Israel a "murderous state" during his election campaign - has previously campaigned for a boycott of goods, services and products from illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights.