Colombia and Israel clashed earlier in the week after President Gustavo Petro compared Israeli attacks on Gaza with the Nazi persecution of Jewish people during World War II.
After the Hamas attacks on October 7 that killed more than 1,400 people, and Israel’s announcement of a retaliatory “siege” of Gaza, Petro compared how Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant spoke about Palestinians to what the “Nazis said of the Jews”.
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Israel responded by announcing that it was “halting security exports” to Colombia. A seemingly undeterred Petro then threatened to suspend diplomatic relations.
“If we have to suspend foreign relations with Israel, we will suspend them. We do not support genocides. The president of Colombia will not be insulted,” Petro continued to post on X.
Israel has been one of Colombia’s main suppliers of Kfir fighter jets, surveillance equipment and assault rifles since the 1990s, aiding the Latin American country’s fight against drug traffickers and armed groups.
Historically, Latin America’s left-leaning countries have sympathised with the Palestinian cause, while the more right-wing countries have followed the US line, turning the Israel-Palestine issue into a proxy for foreign relations with the US.
But with news unfolding that the Hamas-led assault killed 13 citizens from several Latin American countries and with at least 21 more still missing, here’s a look at where some of those countries stand on the Israel-Hamas war:
Home to one of the largest Jewish communities in the region, the country’s President Alberto Fernandez stated his country’s condemnation of the Hamas attack on Israeli people, adding: “Violence must be definitively eradicated in the world. Peace is more urgent than ever.”
On Wednesday, the US and Israeli embassies in Buenos Aries received two bomb threats via email, local media sites Clarin and La Nacion reported Wednesday morning.
Belize has decried the hostilities between Hamas and Israel and called for immediate de-escalation while supporting a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital and demanding the right of return for Palestinians displaced from their ancestral homeland.
While Bolivia stated its deep concern about the violence on both sides of the conflict, former President Evo Morales, who is running for office, released his own counter-statement to his country’s official one, posting on X: “The statement from the Bolivian Foreign Ministry does not reflect the feeling of solidarity of the Bolivian people towards Palestine. The Bolivian people will always condemn the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestinian Territories.”
Brazil’s Foreign Minister Mauro Luiz Iecker Vieira said last week that his country has “received with dismay the news that Israeli forces called for all civilians — more than one million — living in northern Gaza to leave within 24 hours”. Viera and the country’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva called for an end to violence on both sides.
Home to the largest Palestinian diaspora in the region, Chile condemned the violence but also asserted their support of Palestinian rights. In a statement, President Gabriel Boric condemned Hamas’s October 7 “brutal attacks, murders and kidnappings”, while also calling Israel out on its “indiscriminate attacks against civilians” saying it was violating international law.
A staunch ally of Israel, it strongly condemned the Hamas attack on Israel but has not as yet commented on Israel’s action on Gaza.
President Nayib Bukele posted on X: “As a Salvadoran with Palestinian ancestry, I’m sure the best thing that could happen to the Palestinian people is for Hamas to completely disappear… Those savage beasts do not represent the Palestinian people.”
The Government of Venezuela voiced its concern at the situation in the Gaza Strip and called for the end of violence throughout the Palestinian territory through direct dialogue and compliance with UN Security Council Resolution 2334. Venezuela urged the United Nations to fulfil its role as a guarantor of international peace and legality.
In a statement, the Latin American country recognised the ongoing conflict “is the result of the inability of the Palestinian people to find a space in international law to assert their historical rights”.
Source: News Agencies