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Israel stops security exports to Colombia after Petro likens its actions in Gaza to Nazism

October 16, 2023 at 10:33 am

The Colombian President, Gustavo Petro, speaks to the media as Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, during a joint statement at the Narino Presidential Palace in Bogota, Colombia on August 24, 2022. [Juancho Torres – Anadolu Agency]

Israel yesterday announced that it would stop its security exports to Colombia in response to statements by Colombian President Gustavo Petro, in which he likened Israel’s targeting of Gaza to the Nazi persecution of the Jews.

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Lior Haiat said that Colombian Ambassador to Israel Margarita Manjarrez had been summoned over “hostile and anti-Semitic statements” against the state of Israel made by Petro.

Haiat stated on X, previously Twitter: “As the first measure taken in response, Israel decided to stop security exports to Colombia.”

He added that the Columbian president’s statements were received with “astonishment… given Hamas’s barbaric terrorist attack,” and accused Petro of “expressing support for the atrocities committed by Hamas terrorists, fuelling antisemitism, affecting the representatives of the State of Israel and threatening the peace of the Jewish community in Colombia.”

In response, Petro said, “If we have to suspend foreign relations with Israel, we suspend them,” adding that his country does not support “genocide.”

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On 9 October, Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant announced a “complete siege” on Gaza, saying that there would be “no power, food, or fuel.”

“We are fighting human animals, and we are acting accordingly are fighting human animals and we act accordingly,” Gallant added.

Petro responded to Gallant’s remarks by saying, “This is what the Nazis said of the Jews.”

The Colombian leader went on to liken the actions of the Israeli occupation army to the crimes of the Nazis and the Gaza Strip to the Auschwitz concentration camp, saying, “No democrat in the world can accept Gaza being turned into a concentration camp.”

The Israeli occupation army has been bombing Gaza – which is considered one of the most densely populated areas in the world – since 7 October, wiping out whole families.