San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Costa Ricans Protest Israel’s Invasion of Gaza

About 100 people rallied outside the Israeli Embassy in San José last week to protest Israel’s attack on Gaza, which has killed more than 1,000 Palestinians since fighting began three weeks ago.

Protestors burned an Israeli flag and threw shoes at an effigy of U.S. President George W. Bush, mimicking the Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at the real Bush at a press conference last month.

Foreign Minister Bruno Stagno has sharply condemned the Israeli invasion, but also criticized the militant Palestinian group Hamas for launching rocket fire into Israel.

“The ground invasion … is unjustified under international law (and) shows complete disrespect for the Geneva Conventions,” Stagno said earlier this month. “While we categorically condemn attacks and terrorism by Hamas, the response (by Israel) has been disproportionate.”

Costa Rica, a member of the U.N. Security Council, supported a binding resolution last week that called for an immediate cease-fire and withdrawal of Israeli troops from Gaza.

The resolution, backed by 14 of the council’s 15 members (the U.S. abstained), has been ignored by Israel and Hamas.

–Gillian Gillers


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