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Montevideo, June 13th 2024 - 00:40 UTC



Colombia breaks up with Israel over Gaza deployment

Thursday, May 2nd 2024 - 10:16 UTC
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Petro denounced Israeli PM Netanyahu's “genocidal” actions Petro denounced Israeli PM Netanyahu's “genocidal” actions

Colombian President Gustavo Petro Wednesday announced that his country would be severing diplomatic ties with Israel as of Thursday over the latter's military deployment in Gaza at the behest of its “genocidal” head of government. Petro also insisted that “if Palestine dies, humanity dies.”

“Today all of humanity, in the streets, by the millions, agrees with us,” he stressed while adding that “the times of genocide” cannot return. For that reason, Petro invited the international community to follow suit because Israel was “a genocidal state” with which it is no longer “possible to continue being an ally.”

“The world could be summed up in one word, which vindicates resistance, that word is called Gaza, it is called Palestine, the children who have died dismembered by bombs. The Government of Change reports that relations with the State of Israel will be broken,” Petro said.

Petro's move ends a relationship of almost 70 years through which Colombia bought mostly military and chemical industry items. During 2023, Colombian exports to Israel amounted to US$ 499.2 million and topped US$1 billion the year before. Between 2020 and 2023, Colombia's sales to Israel -mostly of fuels, mineral oils and byproducts, in addition to coffee, tea, and spices- averaged US$ 452.3 million.

Colombia's military is equipped with Israeli-designed 5.56 mm Galil rifles, which have been manufactured under license in the South American country since 2002.

Read also: Colombian Armed Forces report missing ammo

Since January 2024, electrical equipment, optical instruments, photography gear, and air navigation devices accounted for the largest share of Colombia's purchases from Israel.

In response, Israel's Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz said Petro was a “hate-filled anti-Semite” who “decided to side with the most despicable monsters known to mankind who burned babies, murdered children, raped women and kidnapped innocent civilians.”

“The president of Colombia promised to reward Hamas murderers and rapists, and today he kept his promise. History will remember” what Gustavo Petro did, insisted Katz on X while recalling that relations between the two countries had always been “warm” and that an “anti-Semitic and hate-filled president will not be able to change that.”


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