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Colombia President threatens to break relations with Israel if ceasefire not implemented

March 26, 2024 at 5:52 pm

Colombian President, Gustavo Petro, speaks as United Nations Security Council visits Bogota, Colombia on February 8, 2024. [Juancho Torres – Anadolu Agency]

Colombian President, Gustavo Petro, warned on Tuesday that Colombia will break diplomatic relations with Israel if it does not comply with the recent resolution of the United Nations Security Council, which demands a ceasefire in Gaza, Anadolu Agency reports.

“If Israel does not comply with the United Nations ceasefire resolution, we will break diplomatic relations with Israel,” Petro published on his X account.

Israel’s response to the Colombian President’s statement did not take long. The country’s Foreign Minister, Israel Katz, responded on X that Petro´s “support” of Hamas is a “disgrace to the Colombian people.”

“The President of Colombia´s support of the Hamas terrorists who massacred and committed horrific sexual crimes against babies, women and adults is a disgrace to the Colombian people,” Kats said. “Israel will continue to protect its citizens and will not give in to any pressure and threats.”

READ: After UN resolution urges ceasefire, Israel’s Ben-Gvir calls for ground attack on Rafah

Petro had already made a global invitation on Monday to break diplomatic relations with Israel in the event that the UN resolution was not complied with.

“I invite the nations of the world to sever diplomatic relations if Israel breaks the ceasefire,” said the President.

The UN Security Council, on Monday, passed a resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza for the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. It also demands that Hamas free captives seized on 7 October when it led attacks on Israel. It is the first time the Council has called for a ceasefire since the war began after the United States did not veto the measure, which meant a shift in its previous position.

It is estimated that there are between 4,000 and 5,000 Colombians and a significant student population living in Israel who would be affected by the decision to break ties with the country.

Relations between Colombia and Israel have experienced several tensions since the war broke out in October. The ambassador in that country, Margarita Manjarrez, returned to Colombia on 8 November of last year, when she was called for consultations by the President.

On 29 February, Petro ordered the suspension of arms purchases from Israel after news broke of the murder of 100 Palestinians in an Israeli attack while they were waiting for humanitarian aid in Gaza.

READ: Colombia: Gaza is suffering the same fate as Hiroshima