In protest of Israel's military offensive in Gaza, Venezuela cut ties with the country.

The decision by President Hugo Chavez's socialist government comes more than a week after it expelled the Israeli ambassador in Caracas and seven embassy staff members.

According to a statement from a Foreign Ministry, Venezuela has decided to break off diplomatic relations with the state of Israel given the inhumane persecution of the Palestinian people.

An offensive was launched by Israel in Gaza on December 27, seeking to force the ruling Hamas militant group to halt rocket attacks on southern Israel.

According to Palestinian authorities at least 1,025 people have been killed to date.