Colombia no longer buying Israeli weapons and president calls war in Gaza ‘genocide’

Colombia’s President Gustavo Petro announced the suspension of weapon purchases from Israel following alleged Israeli military actions in Gaza. Describing the events as “genocide,” Petro blamed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for violence around an aid convoy, with Gaza health officials reporting over 100 deaths. This move came amid escalating tensions between Colombia and Israel, exacerbated by Petro’s previous comparison of Israel’s actions in Gaza to Nazi Germany. Despite Colombia’s historical alliance with the U.S. and close ties with Israel, relations have cooled since Petro’s leftist presidency began in 2022. Colombia utilizes Israeli weaponry in combating drug cartels and rebel factions, with both countries having signed a free trade agreement in 2020. Colombia’s military collaboration with Israel dates back to the late 1980s, including the purchase of Kfir fighter jets used against guerrilla groups. Petro’s recent actions, including recalling Colombia’s ambassador to Israel, underscore a shift in diplomatic stance regarding the Israel-Hamas conflict. Furthermore, Colombia has been engaged in humanitarian efforts, repatriating citizens and providing aid to Palestinians affected by the conflict.

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