Israel has formally notified the Venezuelan diplomatic mission that it has until Friday to leave the country.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Lior Hayat said Wednesday that the move came in response to a similar move by Caracas against Israel’s Ambassador to Venezuela during Operation Cast Lead.  On January 6, Ambassador Shlomo Cohen and his staff of seven were given 72 hours in which to organize their things and leave the country.

Venezuela officially broke off ties with Israel one week later, and its foreign ministry issued a statement vowing to charge the Jewish State with war crimes at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

“Due to the decision of Venezuela to cut relations with us a few weeks ago, we told the Venezuelan Charge D’Affaires that he and his staff should leave the country,” Hayat explained. “We have told them that they are declared persona non grata in Israel.”

President Hugo Chavez has a close relationship with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who is a generous patron of the Hamas terrorist organization and other allied Gaza terror groups that have launched attacks against Israeli civilians.

Iran has vowed to replenish the terrorists’ depleted supply of missiles and other weapons despite commitments by the international community to block attempts by Hamas to rearm.