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Colombia to break diplomatic relations with Israel, says President Petro

Countries cannot be passive in the face of events in Gaza, says Colombian president
Colombia’s President Gustavo Petro speaks during the inauguration of the International Book Fair (FilBo) in Bogota, Colombia April 17, 2024. Reuters
Colombia’s President Gustavo Petro speaks during the inauguration of the International Book Fair (FilBo) in Bogota, Colombia April 17, 2024. Reuters

Colombian President Gustavo Petro said on Wednesday he will break diplomatic relations with Israel over its actions in Gaza.

Petro has already heavily criticized Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and requested to join South Africa’s case accusing Israel of genocide at the International Court of Justice.

“Here in front of you, the government of change, of the president of the republic announces that tomorrow we will break diplomatic relations with the state of Israel … for having a government, for having a president who is genocidal,” Petro told cheering crowds in Bogota who marched to mark International Worker’s Day and back Petro’s social and economic reforms.

Countries cannot be passive in the face of events in Gaza, he added.

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz accused Petro of being “antisemitic and full of hate”. He said Petro’s move was a reward to the armed group Hamas, which on Oct. 7 led a deadly attack on Israeli military bases and communities.

Bolivia broke with relations with Israel at the end of October last year while several other countries in Latin America, including Colombia, Chile and Honduras, have recalled their ambassadors.

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