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Colombia recalls ambassador to Israel, citing ‘massacre’ of Palestinians

November 1, 2023 at 2:50 pm

Colombian president Gustavo Petro in Bogota, October 29, 2023 [Chepa Beltran/Long Visual Press/Universal Images Group via Getty Images]

Colombia yesterday recalled its ambassador to Israel as President Gustavo Petro warned that his country would break off diplomatic relations if Israeli forces did not stop attacking civilians in the Gaza Strip.

“I have decided to recall our ambassador to Israel for consultations. If Israel does not stop the massacre of the Palestinian people, we cannot be there,” Petro said on X.

He was among the first world leaders to condemn the attacks by the Israeli army in the Gaza Strip as a genocide perpetrated by Israel against the Palestinian people.

Since 7 October, Petro has shown his support for the Palestinian cause and condemned Israel, comparing them to Nazis.

“Now the neo-Nazis want the destruction of the Palestinian people, freedom, and culture,” he wrote on X.

His comments drew the ire of the Israeli government, worsening diplomatic relations between the two countries, with Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Lior Haiat summoning Colombia’s Ambassador to Israel, Margarita Manjarrez, over Petro’s “hostile and anti-Semitic statements.”

READ: Colombia unveils ‘State of Palestine’ street

Petro later condemned the escalation of armed actions against Palestinians and doubled down on his support for Palestine.

“If we have to suspend foreign relations with Israel, we suspend them,” he said on X. “We do not support genocides.”

Earlier, Chilean President Gabriel Boric Font announced that he would recall his ambassador to Israel, Jorge Carvajal, for consultations in the capital Santiago.

“Chile strongly condemns and observes with great concern that these military operations – which at this stage of their development involve collective punishment of the Palestinian civilian population in Gaza – do not respect fundamental norms of international law, as demonstrated by the more than eight thousand civilian victims, mostly women and children,” Boric wrote on X.