“I am writing these lines to express my surprise at having learned of the inauguration of Plaza Palestina in San Borja, just on the day that the term of the district’s mayor expires,” Israeli ambassador Asaf Ichilevich wrote on his Facebook page.
“We hereby raise our objection to the presence of a square in our district, which will serve as a platform for future acts of support to the... Palestinian cause.”
The Palestinian Embassy in Peru issued a statement which promptly rebutted Ichilevich’s remark.
“We regret that the Israeli embassy intends to affect the peaceful coexistence of our communities by stoking hatred through such defamatory statements.”
According to the release, Palestinian diplomats will file an official complaint - to counter Ichilevich’s remarks - with the Peruvian Foreign Ministry and also request that the ministry pursue appropriate measures to resolve the issue.
“We would like to inform members of the public that there is a park called Ramat Gan Israel in San Borja, and the Palestinian community has never sought to spoil it. On the contrary, we respect the autonomy of Peruvian institutions and the diversity of communities and cultures that coexist peacefully in the country,” the Palestinian officials added.
The square, which is located in the San Borja district, was inaugurated during a ceremony hosted by Mayor Marco Antonio Alvarez Vargas.
Late January 2011, Peru has joined Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Guyana and Uruguay in acknowledging Palestine as a “free and sovereign” state.
“Today the government communicated to the ambassador of Palestine in Lima recognition of the Palestinian state as free and sovereign,” former Peruvian Foreign Minister Jose Antonio Belaunde said at the time.