Spread the love

War in Gaza: Colombia cuts diplomatic ties with Israel

The President of Colombia Gustavo Petro announced The severing of diplomatic ties with Israel on Wednesday, calling Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government “nocidal” in his conduct of the war à Gaza.

Israel immediately accused Mr. Petro of “rewarding” the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, which, for its part, welcomed the Colombian leader's announcement, calling it a “victory”.

Mr. Petro had strongly criticized, on several occasions, the war waged by Israel in the Gaza Strip after the unprecedented attacks by Hamas in southern Israeli territory on October 7.

“Tomorrow (Thursday), diplomatic relations with the State of Israel will be severed (because it has) a government, a genocidal president”, declared the Colombian president on Wednesday, during a speech delivered to several thousand of partisans in Bogota on the occasion of May 1st.

In Israel, the head of government is the Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, while the president, Isaac Herzog, has a primarily symbolic role.

“We cannot return to times of genocide, of extermination of an entire people,” declared the Colombian president. “If Palestine dies, humanity dies,” he said, drawing cheers from the crowd.

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz said immediately reacted by calling Gustavo Petro an “anti-Semite”. “The Colombian president promised to reward Hamas murderers and rapists, today he kept his promise,” Mr. Katz wrote on X.

“We greatly appreciate the position of Colombian President Gustavo Petro (…) which we consider a victory for the sacrifices of our people and their just cause,” the Hamas leadership declared in a statement. calling on other Latin American countries to “sever” their relations with Israel.

War in Gaza: Colombia cuts diplomatic ties with Israel

Colombian President Gustavo Petro waves the national flag during his speech on May 1 in Bogota © AFP – Raul ARBOLEDA

The war broke out on October 7, when Hamas commandos infiltrated from the Gaza Strip in southern Israel carried out an attack which resulted in the deaths of 1,170 people, mainly civilians, according to an AFP report. based on official Israeli data.

More than 250 people have been kidnapped and 129 remain captive in Gaza, of whom 34 have died according to Israeli officials.

In retaliation, Israel vowed to annihilate Hamas and launched an offensive in the besieged territory, which has so far left 34,568 dead, mostly civilians, according to the Health Ministry of Hamas.

– “Genocide” –

Bolivia, governed by a left-wing president, and Belize, a small Central American state, had already ended diplomatic relations with Israel over its offensive in the Gaza Strip in retaliation for the Hamas attack. on October 7.

And South Africa, long a fervent defender of the Palestinian cause, had recalled all its diplomats from Israel at the beginning of November.

War in Gaza: Colombia cuts diplomatic ties with Israel

Mr. Petro had on February 20 accused Israel of committing a “genocide” of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, expressing his “full solidarity” with his Brazilian counterpart Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva, plunged into a diplomatic crisis for having drawn a comparison between the the Israeli offensive and the extermination of the Jews by the Nazis.

The Colombian leader had also announced to suspend the purchase of weapons manufactured by Israel, one of the main suppliers of the South American country's security forces, reiterating its claims regarding “a genocide” underway in Gaza that “is reminiscent of the Holocaust even if world powers do not like to recognize it.”

Brazil and Colombia support South Africa's historic case against Israel before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague for alleged violations of the 1948 Genocide Convention.

The Confederation of Jewish Communities of Colombia said it hoped that “the relations between the two brotherly countries”, established in 1953, “be maintained, leaving open the paths of dialogue “, in a press release.

“We cannot be accomplices of assassins”, said Sandra Gutierrez, a 38-year-old teacher, present on the square Bolivar de Bogota where Gustavo Petro made his announcement.

All rights of reproduction and representation reserved. © (2024) Agence France-Presse

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116