OCCUPIED JERUSALEM: Israel has criticized El Salvador, Peru and Chile for recalling their ambassadors in protest at ongoing attacks on the blockaded Gaza Strip.
"El Salvador, Chile and Peru would have been much better advised to promote the international move intended to assist Israel in its efforts to defend innocent civilians and instate a durable cease-fire with the demilitarization of Gaza," the Israeli foreign ministry said in a statement Wednesday.
International criticism of Israel appears to be increasing amid a deadly military offensive in the Gaza Strip, which killed more than 1,300 people.
The criticism came shortly after the three Latin countries recalled their ambassadors from Tel Aviv to protest Israel’s military offensive on the Gaza Strip.
The ministry went on to blame Hamas for "sustaining the rocket fire."
"Israel expects countries who oppose terrorism to act responsibly and not to hand terrorists a prize," the statement added.
Since July 7, Israel has pounded the Gaza Strip - from air, land and sea - with devastating bombardments with the ostensible aim of halting rocket fire from the strip.
At least 1,306 Palestinians - mostly civilians - have been killed and more than 7100 others injured in the ongoing Israeli attacks in the blockaded territory.
At least 56 Israelis - 53 soldiers and three civilians - have been killed since the hostilities began.
Israel's military operation, dubbed operation "Protective Edge," is the self-proclaimed Jewish state's third major offensive against the densely-populate Gaza Strip - which is home to some 1.8 million Palestinians - within the last six years.
In 2008/9, over 1500 Palestinians were killed in Israel's three-week-long operation "Cast Lead."