CARACAS - Venezuela's socialist government condemned Israeli strikes in Gaza on Saturday as a policy of genocide that could not be justified as like-for-like warfare.



President Nicolas Maduro has maintained the foreign policy of his firebrand predecessor Hugo Chavez, who was popular in the Arab world and broke relations with Israel after accusing it of "holocaust" for its 2009 offensive in Gaza.



Israel's latest attacks have "initiated a higher phase of its policy of genocide and extermination with the ground invasion of Palestinian territory, killing innocent men, women, girls and boys," a Venezuelan government statement said.

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