Colombia Threatens to Suspend Relations with Israel over Military Sales Cancelation
President Petro Stands Against Genocide
Colombia’s President Gustavo Petro threatened to suspend relations with Israel over the latter’s decision to cancel sales of military supplies to his country, saying that he does not support genocide.
“If we have to suspend foreign relations with Israel, we will suspend them. We do not support genocides. The president of Colombia will not be insulted,” Petro said on X.
Israel Rebukes Petro’s Statements
Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lior Haiat said earlier that “by instruction of Foreign Minister Eli Cohen, the Deputy Director General for Latin America at the Israeli Foreign Ministry, Ambassador Jonathan Peled, summoned the Colombian Ambassador to Israel, Margarita Manjarrez, for a reprimanding conversation following statements made by Colombian President Gustavo Petro.”
Haiat condemned Petro’s statements, which were seen as “supportive of Hamas atrocities,” allegedly fostering anti-Semitism and threatening the peace of the Jewish community in Colombia.
Petro Calls for Latin American Solidarity
Petro also called on Latin America to demonstrate genuine solidarity with Colombia in the wake of Israel’s “insult” against him.
“From the people of Israel, I demand help in…achieving peace in Palestine and the world,” he said. “Colombia, as Bolivar and Narino taught us, is an independent, sovereign and just people.”
Colombia’s Response and Actions
Following the post, Petro launched a new tirade against Israel’s decision and highlighted through an image that in Colombia, “genocides are not supported.”
He announced Colombia would send humanitarian aid to Gaza with the hope of Egyptian support and urged the U.N. to convene an extraordinary session of the General Assembly.
Israel Halts Military Sales
Israel decided Sunday to halt all military sales to Colombia over Petro’s remarks on Israel’s actions in Gaza, which he likened to the Nazi persecution of the Jews during World War II.
“This is what the Nazis said about the Jews. Democratic societies cannot allow Nazism to reestablish itself in international politics,” he said in the post.
He added that such a hateful discourse would lead to “a Holocaust.”
Last weekend, Israeli forces launched a sustained military campaign in the Gaza Strip in response to a military offensive by the Palestinian group Hamas in Israeli territories.
The conflict began when Hamas initiated Operation Al-Aqsa Flood against Israel – a multi-pronged surprise attack including a barrage of rocket launches and infiltrations into Israel via land, sea and air.
Hamas said the operation was in retaliation for the storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem and Israeli settlers’ growing violence against Palestinians.
The Israeli military then launched Operation Swords of Iron against Hamas targets within the Gaza Strip.
The number of Palestinians killed in Israeli airstrikes in Gaza has risen to 2,670, the local Health Ministry said Sunday.
In a statement, the ministry said that 750 children were among the dead. The number of wounded has risen to 9,600, it said.