Chile's Boric receives Israeli ambassador credentials after diplomatic tussle

President Gabriel Boric's decision to postpone it by two weeks was in response to the death of a Palestinian teenager during a military operation in the West Bank.

 Chile's President-elect Gabriel Boric celebrates with supporters after winning the presidential election in Santiago, Chile, December 19, 2021 (photo credit: REUTERS/RODRIGO GARRIDO)
Chile's President-elect Gabriel Boric celebrates with supporters after winning the presidential election in Santiago, Chile, December 19, 2021
(photo credit: REUTERS/RODRIGO GARRIDO)

Chilean President Gabriel Boric received the credentials of Israel's new ambassador on Friday afternoon, two weeks after a diplomatic dispute that resulted from the ceremony being postponed due to the death of a young Palestinian.

Israeli ambassador Gil Artzyeli had initially been scheduled to attend the ceremony on September 15, which was postponed in a move Israel's foreign ministry characterized as "unprecedented."

What initially caused the postponement?

Chile's decision was in response to the death of a Palestinian teenager during a military operation in the West Bank, the Chilean government said in a statement, adding that the ceremony had been rescheduled for September 30.

Ximena Fuentes Torrijo, Chile's foreign minister, had to apologize to Foreign Ministry Director-General Alon Ushpiz for Boric's refusal to accept the credentials.

Chile's outgoing president Sebastián Piñera (left) meets with President-elect Gabriel Boric at the presidential palace in Santiago last week. (credit: CHILEAN PRESIDENCY/REUTERS)Chile's outgoing president Sebastián Piñera (left) meets with President-elect Gabriel Boric at the presidential palace in Santiago last week. (credit: CHILEAN PRESIDENCY/REUTERS)

Boric and Israel

Chile's president has a history of boycotting the Jewish state and supporting the BDS movement, which has left many Chilean Jews worried.

Boric, who was elected president earlier this year, called Israel a “murderous state” in a meeting with the Chilean Jewish community during his campaign.

Last month, Boric told the Jewish community of his country that they do not need to be worried after his snub of Israel’s ambassador.

Three years ago, the president was sent a jar of honey for Rosh Hashanah. Boric responded by tweeting, "I appreciate the gesture, but they could have asked Israel to return illegally occupied Palestinian territory."

"I appreciate the gesture, but they could have asked Israel to return illegally occupied Palestinian territory."

Chilean President Gabriel Boric

Around 18,000 Jews live in Chile.

Lahav Harkov contributed to this report.