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President Boric Says Chile Will Open Embassy in Occupied Palestine

by Brett Willkins
"We cannot forget a community that is suffering from an illegal occupation, a community that is resisting, a community that is seeing its rights and dignity violated every day," Chile's leftist president said.
Palestinian officials and supporters welcomed leftist Chilean President Gabriel Boric's announcement this week that his country will open an embassy in the West Bank, which has been illegally occupied by Israeli apartheid forces for 55 years.

"We are going to raise our official representation in Palestine from having a charge d'affaires," Boric said at a Wednesday evening Christmas tree-lighting ceremony with Palestinian Christians.

"It always makes me very angry to look at the Middle East and not see Palestine on the map." "Now we are going to open an embassy of our government to give it the corresponding representation, to demand in all spaces something so basic, so simple that today is not being done, which is that international law is respected," the president added. "Nothing more and nothing less."

"It always makes me very angry to look at the Middle East and not see Palestine on the map," Boric said.

As incoming right-wing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu joins the long line of Israeli leaders and their boosters who deny the existence of the Palestinian people, Boric asserted that Palestine "exists [and] resists."

"We cannot forget a community that is suffering from an illegal occupation, a community that is resisting, a community that is seeing its rights and dignity violated every day," he said. The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs applauded Boric's plan, saying in a statement that it "affirms the principled position of Chile and its president in support of international law and the right of the Palestinian people to establish their independent state."

Chile has been officially represented by an office in the Palestinian Authority since 1998. In 2011 the Chilean government recognized Palestine as a "free, independent, and sovereign state" and backed its entry into UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization.

Palestine, meanwhile, has an embassy in Santiago, the Chilean capital. Palestine has established bilateral ties with nearly 140 nations.

Relations between Chile and Israel have been strained. In September, Boric delayed acceptance of the new Israeli ambassador's credentials after Israeli occupation forces fatally shot 17-year-old Odai Trad Salah in the head during a raid outside Jenin.

Chile boasts the largest Palestinian community outside of the Middle East. Its 300,000 members live peacefully with Chile's 30,000 Jews.
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