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Colombia President hails ICJ rulings against Israel

January 26, 2024 at 8:28 pm

Colombian President Gustavo Petro delivers a speech during a military ceremony at the Jose Maria Cordova Military School in Bogota, on December 15, 2023 [RAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP via Getty Images]

The President of Colombia, Gustavo Petro, hailed Friday’s International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) rulings as a “triumph of humanity”, demanding that Israel take all necessary measures to prevent genocide, Anadolu Agency reports.

“Triumph of Humanity: Israel must prevent genocide,” Petro published on his X account, and went on to explain the implications of the six orders within the rulings pertaining to the Gaza bombardment.

In the ruling, the ICJ affirmed jurisdiction over the case submitted by South Africa, instructed Israel to prevent genocide and allow humanitarian aid into Gaza and release of hostages by Hamas.

In January, Colombia openly supported South Africa’s legal action against Israel, citing alleged violations of the 1948 Genocide Convention during the Gaza war. Petro, an outspoken critic of Israel’s Gaza bombardments, denounced the attacks as “genocide”, with reported casualties exceeding 26,000 Palestinians today.

READ: World Court’s decisions are ‘binding’: UN chief

In a letter dated 11 January, but released on Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, called on Petro to make “every possible effort” to help secure the release of the 136 people being held captive by Hamas on 7 October, including a Colombian citizen.

Among the captives is Colombian national, Elkanah Bohbot, an Israeli citizen married to a Colombian national, Rebeca Gonzalez, with whom he has a daughter. Although Petro’s government granted him Colombian nationality in November, which was expected to facilitate his release, he has not been reunited with his family.

Netanyahu emphasised Colombia’s shared cause with Israel for the immediate and unconditional release. Petro, as of now, has not addressed Netanyahu’s appeal.

WATCH: Social media users say Israel will try to downplay significance of ICJ ruling