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Israel suspends army exports to Colombia over its president’s criticism of Gaza siege

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BOGOTA, Colombia — Israel has suspended safety exports to Colombia in an escalating diplomatic spat over on-line messages by Colombia’s president evaluating Israel’s siege of Gaza to the actions of Nazi Germany.

Colombian President Gustavo Petro has doubled down on his criticism of Israel and urged that his nation might must droop diplomatic relations with Israel, whereas his overseas minister has urged Israel’s ambassador ought to depart the nation.

In a press release revealed Sunday, Israel’s overseas ministry stated that Petro’s current statements on X, beforehand often known as Twitter, “inflame antisemitism” and “threaten the security of the Jewish neighborhood in Colombia.” The Israeli authorities stated it known as Colombia’s ambassador to a gathering through which she was knowledgeable that protection cooperation between the international locations can be suspended.

Colombia at present has diplomatic relations with each Israel and the Palestinian Authority, and over the previous twenty years it has been one in every of Israel’s closes companions in Latin America.

The South American nation makes use of Israeli-built warfare planes and machine weapons to combat drug cartels and insurgent teams and each international locations additionally signed a free commerce settlement in 2020.

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However the two nations have been much less aligned since Petro took workplace final 12 months as Colombia’s first leftist president.

The disagreement between Petro and Israel’s Ambassador Gali Dagan began per week in the past when Petro refused to sentence the Hamas raid on Israel, through which militants killed lots of of civilians of their houses.

When Dagan urged Petro to talk about the “terrorist” assault, Colombia’s president replied with a message that “terrorism is killing harmless kids in Palestine” and adopted up with messages through which he accused Israel of turning Gaza right into a “focus camp.”

The feedback evaluating Israel’s army to the Nazis sparked criticism from Colombia’s Jewish neighborhood and likewise triggered a response from the U.S. State Division, which stated final Thursday by its Particular Envoy to Fight and Monitor Antisemitism that it was “shocked” to see Colombia’s president evaluating “the Israeli authorities to Hitler’s genocidal regime.”

Over the weekend Petro wrote on X that Hamas had been “invented” by Israel’s intelligence companies with a view to divide Palestinians and “have an excuse” to “punish” them. He offered no proof to again his claims.

Dagan mocked Petro’s message with a sarcastic reply through which he wrote that his nation’s intelligence companies had additionally “created” Colombia’s largest paramilitary group and that “Jews with large noses” nonetheless rule over the group.

On Monday, Colombian Overseas Minister Alvaro Leyva wrote on his X account that Dagan ought to “depart” the nation and apologize for his messages. Later nonetheless he wrote that Israel’s ambassador had not been expelled and that relations between each international locations can be maintained if Israel so desired. “Respectful relations between states are at all times welcome” Leyva wrote.

Petro doubled down on his critiques of Israel over the weekend, describing its army marketing campaign in Gaza as “genocide” and threatening to interrupt off relations with the Jewish state.

“If we should droop diplomatic relations with Israel, then that’s what we are going to do” he wrote on X on Sunday. “You can’t insult the president of Colombia.”

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