Caracas protesters cheer Israeli envoy's expulsion

Protesters condemning Israel's offensive in the Gaza Strip sprayed graffiti and hurled shoes at the country's embassy in Venezuela on Thursday, backing President Hugo Chavez's decision to expel the Israeli ambassador. Demonstrators waved Palestinian flags and chanted "Gaza, hold on! The world is rising up!" Journalists estimated the crowd at about 1,000. Chavez has ordered Ambassador Shlomo Cohen to leave in protest over the attacks in Gaza. Israel says Cohen was given until Friday to depart, and the nation is considering expelling Venezuelan diplomats in response. "We are leaving without hate or rancor. On the contrary, we have much fondness for the Venezuelan people," Cohen told The Associated Press on Thursday at a gathering at a Jewish community center in eastern Caracas.