Bolivia delivered a scathing condemnation of Israel's continued occupation of Palestine, and reiterated support for the self-determination of the Palestinian people, at the United Nations Security Council Tuesday, June 20.
In a statement during a Security Council debate on Palestine, Bolivian ambassador Sacha Llorenti, who is currently the President of the Council for June, expressed “great concern about the grave political, economic, social, humanitarian, and security situation in the occupied Palestinian territories, as a result of ongoing and loathful policies by Israel, the occupying power.”
Tuesday's U.N. session on Palestine was convened by the Bolivian ambassador. As President of the Council for June, Bolivia is able to set meeting agendas and convene sessions.
Llorenti used the opportunity to warn the international community not to turn its back on Palestine.
“Bolivia reaffirms its support for the self-determination of the Palestinian people, and their right to a state providing freedom and sovereignty,” he said in his opening remarks to the council.
Referencing what he called the “widespread human trauma and humanitarian disaster” caused by the military actions taken by Israel in Gaza in 2014, the Bolivian ambassador said that his government “condemns Israels continuing military occupation of the Palestinian territories in breach of international law... including... reported war crimes by use of excessive, indiscriminative force, that over the years has killed and injured thousands of Palestinian civilians, including children.”
Bolivian President Evo Morales formally broke diplomatic ties with Israel in 2014 following the Gaza attacks, condemning it as a “terrorist state.”
Although a Security Council resolution put forward by Venezuela, Malaysia, and New Zealand in 2016 declared Israel's settlements illegal, construction of the settlements is ongoing.
The U.N. Middle East envoy, Nickolay Mladenov argued that Israel is acting in open and illegal defiance of a U.N. demand to halt settlements.
“The policy of continued illegal settlement construction in the occupied Palestinian territory contravenes resolution 2334,” he said.
In spite of increasing international concensus regarding the illegal nature of Israel's settlements and the egregious human rights violations undertaken to enforce the occupation, the U.S. ambassador has remained steadfast in supporting Israel.
The U.S. ambassador, Nikki Haley, who recently accused the Security Council of "bashing Israel," argued Tuesday that “every ounce” of the U.N.'s actions “should be against Hamas,” because they are a “dangerous actor... determined to destroy everything in their path.”
Israel receives more than US$3 billion in annual U.S. military support.