Bolivian President Evo Morales called Israel a “terrorist state” on Wednesday over the country’s conflict with Hamas in Gaza.
Additionally, Israelis will not be able to enter Bolivia without a visa, the South American country announced. Since 1972, Israelis had been able to travel freely to Bolivia. Now, visa applicants will be considered citizens of a “group 3” country, meaning their applications will be reviewed by the Bolivian National Migration Administration.
“Israel does not respect the principles or purposes of the United Nations charter nor the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” Morales said, the Bolivian newspaper Página Siete reported. Morales had already severed diplomatic relations with Israel in 2009.
Other South American countries such as Brazil, El Salvador, Chile, Ecuador, and Peru have recalled their ambassadors from Israel.
“Israel expresses its deep disappointment with the hasty decision of the governments of El Salvador, Peru, and Chile to recall their ambassadors for consultations. This step constitutes encouragement for Hamas, a group recognized as a terror organization by many countries around the world. … Israel expects countries that oppose terrorism to act responsibly and not to hand terrorists a prize,” Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said.