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Colombia Will Sever Ties With Israel Over Gaza Conflict

Colombia will sever diplomatic ties with Israel over its prosecution of the conflict in Gaza, President Gustavo Petro introduced in Bogotá on Wednesday, describing the Israeli authorities as “genocidal.”

His announcement got here in a speech in Colombia’s capital metropolis in entrance of cheering crowds that had gathered for Worldwide Staff’ Day.

“The occasions of genocide, of the extermination of a complete folks can not come earlier than our eyes, earlier than our passivity,” Mr. Petro stated. “If Palestine dies, humanity dies.”

Colombia is the second South American nation to interrupt off relations with Israel after Bolivia, which reduce ties in November over its strikes in Gaza. On the day that Bolivia made its announcement, Colombia and Chile each stated that they have been recalling their ambassadors to Israel, and Honduras adopted go well with inside days. Belize additionally reduce diplomatic ties with Israel that month.

The Israeli authorities denounced Mr. Petro’s transfer on Wednesday.

“Historical past will keep in mind that Gustavo Petro selected to face together with probably the most abominable monsters recognized to man, who burned infants, killed youngsters, raped girl and kidnapped harmless civilians,” Israel’s international minister, Israel Katz, wrote on X. “Israel and Colombia all the time loved heat ties. Even an antisemitic and hateful president is not going to change that.’’

Mr. Petro, Colombia’s first leftist chief and a critic of U.S. drug coverage towards his nation, had threatened to cut ties with Israel in March if it didn’t adjust to a U.N. Safety Council decision calling for an instantaneous cease-fire in Gaza. And he referred to as on different international locations to do the identical. In response to that risk, Mr. Katz wrote on X that Mr. Petro’s “help for Hamas murderers” who carried out massacres and dedicated intercourse crimes in opposition to Israelis was shameful.

“Israel will proceed to guard its residents and won’t yield to any stress or threats,” he added.

In February Mr. Petro suspended Colombia’s buy of Israeli weapons in February after Israeli forces opened fireplace whereas a crowd was gathered close to a convoy of vehicles carrying desperately wanted help to Gaza Metropolis, a part of a chaotic scene through which scores of individuals have been killed and injured, in line with Gazan well being officers and the Israeli army.

“Asking for meals, greater than 100 Palestinians have been killed by Netanyahu,” Mr. Petro wrote on X on the time, evaluating the occasions to the Holocaust “even when the world powers don’t prefer to acknowledge it.”

“The world should block Netanyahu,” he added.

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