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Venezuela expels Israeli ambassador over Gaza conflict
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The Venezuelan government said Tuesday it has decided to expel Israel's ambassador to the country for the conflict raging in the Gaza Strip.

Venezuela decided to expel Israel's ambassador and some of the staff at the Israeli embassy to strongly condemn Israel's airstrikes and ground invasion in Gaza and support the Palestinian people, the foreign ministry said in a statement.

The Venezuelan government accuses Israel of having seriously violated international law and having planned to use state terrorism against the Palestinian people, the statement said.

Venezuela also urged the UN Security Council to take urgent and necessary measures to stop Israel's military action in the region, it said.

More than 500 Palestinians have been reportedly killed and 2,500 others injured since Israel launched airstrikes on Gaza on December 27, 2008 to retaliate for the firing of rockets into southern Israel by Hamas militants.

(Xinhua News Agency January 7, 2009)

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