Daily Israel Report

Israel 'Regrets' Chile's Decision to Recognize PA as a Country

The State of Israel is expressing its “regret” over the Chilean government’s decision to recognize the Palestinian Authority as a new country.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 1/8/2011, 11:53 PM / Last Update: 1/9/2011, 8:50 AM

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The State of Israel is expressing its “regret” over the Chilean government’s decision Friday to recognize the Palestinian Authority as a new country.

The statement by the Foreign Ministry said the move does nothing to promote negotiations between Israel and the PA, according to a report broadcast Saturday by IDF Army Radio.

Chilean President Sebastian Pinera announced the decision Friday night, saying “Chile has recognized the Palestinian state as a free, independent and sovereign state. In this way we contribute to that end that may exist in the Middle East, a Palestinian state and a state of Israel that can live in peace and prosperity and recognized frontiers with secure borders.”

However, the Santiago government refrained from stating specifically what it believed those borders should be, unlike the previous five Latin American nations to announce their recognition of the PA.

Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, and Uruguay have all stated that they believe the hoped-for PA state should be established along the lines of the 1949 Armistice lines that existed prior to the 1967 Six Day War. They are referred to by many as the “1967 borders” but were never recogfnized as such and are the result of the defensive war that was won after surrounding Arab nations attacked the fledgling Jewish State. They were considered indefensible and allowed rockets to rain down from the Golan Heights to Galilee communities. The present wider borders are post Six Day War, the result of another attempt of the Arab world to wipe out the Jewish State.

“Israelis and Palestinians will eventually define all the core issues like borders,” said Gabriel Zaliasnik,” president of Chile’s Jewish community, who added that he was satisfied with the wording of the announcement.

There are approximately 400,000 PA Arabs residing in Chile, as compared with 10,000 Jews.

The PA praised the decision on Saturday, with its Foreign Minister, Riyad al-Maliki, adding that he believed other countries will follow Chile’s example despite Israeli and American efforts to stem the tide.