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Government responds to churches, clarifies immigration status with Israel and repeats Hamas condemnation

Posted: Thursday, November 16, 2023. 9:33 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: The Government of Belize this evening offered further clarification of its stance on diplomatic relations between Belize and Israel which were suspended earlier this week.

It clarified that there are no obstacles to Belizeans visiting the Holy Land as claimed by the Belize Council of Churches as no visa is required. As for Belizeans in Israel, an unnamed “friendly third country” has arranged on our behalf to render aid and assistance where needed. On the question of dialogue, the Government said it has communicated to Israel by diplomatic note, to which there has been no response by Israel.

The Government further says it is pleased to observe that the BCC believes “that a two-state solution remains the best option in the long-term, where peoples are respected, and the cultures are promoted and preserved.”

As for the National Evangelical Association of Belize (NEAB), the Government said it was false that it had never condemned Hamas’ actions of October 7, 2023, referring to comments by Prime Minister John Briceño at the October 13 meeting of the House of Representatives, and by Foreign Minister Eamon Courtenay at the October 26 meeting of the Senate.

In contrast, Belmopan notes, neither church organization offered any condemnation of the actions against residents of Gaza including the killing of more than 11 thousand civilians and internal displacement of more than a million more, nor the cutting off of necessities and destruction of key infrastructure.

 

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