Al Jazeera America

Brazil woke from a foreign policy slumber last week and waded into the world’s most complex geopolitical conflict.

As the number of civilian deaths in Gaza continued to climb to disturbing levels, Brazil’s Foreign Ministry issued a short statement saying it considered the “escalation of violence” between Israel and Palestine “unacceptable” and “strongly condemned the disproportionate use of force by Israel in the Gaza Strip.”

Brazil said it would recall its ambassador in Israel for consultation — an act of protest in diplomatic terms — which effectively fractured ties with Israel. The Palestinians praised Brazil for the strong diplomatic gesture, but Israel’s Foreign Ministry said, “Such steps do not contribute to promote calm and stability in the region,” provide a “tailwind to terrorism” and affect “Brazil’s capacity to wield influence.”

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Anadolu Agency

SÃO PAULO – Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff condemned Israel’s military offensive in Gaza as “disproportionate” and a “massacre” on Monday, joining international calls for an immediate ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.

Speaking with journalists at a forum organised by the Folha de S.Paulo newspaper, Rousseff said calls for an end to the bloodshed made by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon made earlier on Monday were “extremely welcome”.

“I think what is happening in Gaza is extremely dangerous; it is a massacre. It is not a genocide that is being waged, but a disproportionate action,” Rousseff said, echoing statements released by the Brazilian foreign ministry.

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Anadolu Agency

SÃO PAULO – Israel has lambasted Brazil over a decision to recall its ambassador for consultations in protest at Israel’s ongoing military offensive in the Gaza Strip.

In a statement issued on Thursday, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Brazil’s actions “do not contribute to promote calm and stability in the region”.

“Rather, they provide tailwind to terrorism, and naturally affect Brazil’s capacity to wield influence,” the statement continued.

(UPDATE: Brazil is now studying its response to comments from Israel that it is “politically irrelevant”, possibly from President Rousseff personally, according to the Folha de S.Paulo newspaper.)

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