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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

South American state to sever ties with Israel

Colombian President Gustavo Petro has slammed the continued violence in Gaza, calling it “an extermination of an entire nation”

Bogota will cut diplomatic relations with Israel due to its “genocidal” leadership, Colombian President Gustavo Petro announced on Wednesday.

In March, following a UN Security Council resolution seeking an immediate ceasefire and more humanitarian aid to Gaza, he vowed to sever ties with the Jewish state should it fail to meet the demands.

Read more: Gaza’s IVF embryos destroyed by Israeli strike

In a Labor Day speech in Bogota, Petro expressed solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza whose “children have died, dismembered by bombs.”

“Here, in front of you… as the president of the republic, I announce that tomorrow, on May 2, we will break off diplomatic relations with Israel for having a genocidal government,” the president said.

“A time of genocide, of an extermination of an entire nation before our eyes, cannot return… If Palestine dies, humanity dies,” he added.

Read more: NYT Gaza reporting policy: No ‘Genocide’ term allowed

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz condemned the move, accusing President Petro of abetting Hamas and “siding with the most despicable monsters known to mankind.” He branded the South American leader a “hate-filled, anti-Semitic president,” in a post on X (formerly Twitter) on Wednesday.

The Islamist group launched a surprise attack on Israel on October 7, in which more than 1,100 Israelis were killed, and at least 250 taken hostage.

Colombia recalled its ambassador to Israel soon after the start of the Israel Defense Forces’ (IDF) military operation in Gaza, which has so far killed some 34,000 Palestinians, according to local authorities. The IDF blockade of the enclave, massive bombing, and resulting humanitarian crisis, have brought widespread condemnation.

Brazil, Chile, Bolivia, Honduras, Belize, Chad, Jordan, Bahrain, Türkiye and South Africa have recalled their ambassadors from Israel due to the hostilities in Gaza, with some breaking ties entirely.