(photo credit: AP)
Israel on Monday said it had ordered its ambassador to Venezuela to return home for consultations, following last week's recall to Caracas of Venezuela's Israel envoy.
"We are disturbed by the one-sided Middle East approach of the president of Venuleza," Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev told The Associated Press. "We have a problem with the leadership in Caracas that hugs the Iranian president who calls for the annihilation of Israel."
Chavez, an outspoken left-wing leader, has angered Israel with his display of affection for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has repeatedly called for Israel's destruction.
In a televised speech last week, Chavez said "We have ordered the withdrawal of our ambassador in Israel" due to the Israeli operations in Lebanon, which he called "genocide."
"It really causes indignation to see how the state of Israel continues bombing, killing ... with all of the power they have, with the support of the United States," Chavez said after a military parade in the northwestern state of Falcon.