Chilean president announces the opening of an embassy in Ramallah


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Chilean President Gabriel Boric
AP Photo/Andres PobleteChilean President Gabriel Boric

Gabriel Boric, far-left president, is seen in Israel and the Jewish world as fiercely anti-Israel

Chile will open an embassy in the Palestinian city of Ramallah in the West Bank, the South American country's president announced on Wednesday.

Gabriel Boric said during an evening Christmas ceremony with Chile's Palestinian community that the diplomatic mission will be realized during his term in office.

“One of the decisions that we have taken as a government, is that we are going to raise the level of our official representation in Palestine. As of today's charge d'affaires, we are going to open an embassy under our government," the leftist leader who took office in March told the Palestinian community, the largest outside of the Arab world.

Chile has a representation with the Palestinian Authority in the city of Ramallah, the "de facto" capital of Palestine, which opened in April 1998. Palestine has an embassy in Santiago. Chile recognized the Palestinian state in 2011 before supporting its membership in UNESCO. 

Palestine "is a people who exist, who resist, who have a history," said Boric. It was unclear what he meant by "resist," but it is a term that can be associated with violent acts of terrorism against Israelis. 

The far-left president is perceived in Israel and in the Jewish world as fiercely anti-Israeli. In particular, he refused to accept the credentials of the Israeli ambassador to Chile in September, to protest against the death of a 17-year-old terrorist who had opened fire on Israeli forces, killing an Israeli soldier.

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Chile and Palestine have had close relations since the migration of Palestinians that began in the 20th century and which today exceeds 300,000 people, making it the largest Arab population outside the Middle East and which also coexists with an influential Jewish community of some 30,000 members.

The Palestinians of Chile are mainly established in the trade and the textile industry. Their descendants also became successfully involved in politics. The matches of the Chilean football club Palestino, founded by Arab settlers in 1920, are followed by thousands of supporters in the Palestinian territories.

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