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Belize suspends diplomatic ties with Israel, renews call for ‘immediate ceasefire’

The government of Belize will suspend diplomatic ties with Israel over its refusal to implement a ceasefire in Gaza, adding to the list of countries in the Western Hemisphere voicing anger over the Israeli government’s war conduct.

“The Government of Belize has repeatedly condemned the actions of the IDF in Gaza. We have appealed to Israel to implement an immediate ceasefire and to allow unimpeded access to humanitarian supplies into Gaza. Despite our requests, Israel has not stopped its violations of international humanitarian law nor allowed relief workers to alleviate the suffering of millions of Gazans,” the Belize statement said Tuesday. “Belize renews its call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, unimpeded access to humanitarian supplies into Gaza and the release of all hostages.”

The Central American nation has also withdrawn its accreditation for Israel’s ambassador there, and suspended its own diplomatic activities in Tel Aviv.

Belize follows several regional neighbors, including Colombia, Chile, and Bolivia, that have severed diplomatic ties or recalled ambassadors to Israel. A number of countries across the Middle East and Africa, including Turkey, Jordan, and South Africa, have also recalled ambassadors in recent weeks.

Israel declared war on Hamas, the Palestinian militant group that controls Gaza, and launched a “complete siege” of the enclave following Hamas’ terror attacks in Israel on October 7. An estimated 1,200 people were killed in Hamas’ attacks, and 240 taken hostage, most of whom remain captive in Gaza.

Since then, Israeli attacks have killed at least 11,180 Palestinians – including 4,609 children and 3,100 women – according to the Palestinian Health Ministry in Ramallah, which draws on medical sources in Gaza.

International pressure on the Israeli government has soared in recent days amid accounts of desperate circumstances at Gaza’s fuel-starved hospitals, and severe shortages of food and water. United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday repeated his calls for a ceasefire in Gaza “in the name of humanity.”

But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ruled out a ceasefire without the release of hostages held by Hamas.

Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen said Monday that the country has only a two to three week window until heavy international pressure for a ceasefire in Gaza began, telling journalists that that a few countries have privately urged Israel to strive for a ceasefire.

This post appeared first on cnn.com

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