Colombia to provide medical treatment to Palestinian children injured in Israel-Hamas war

Colombia has announced a plan to provide medical treatment to Palestinian children injured in the ongoing Israel-Hamas war. The initiative was revealed by Colombia’s Deputy Minister of Multilateral Affairs, Elizabeth Taylor Jay, who stated that the children, accompanied by their families, would be flown to Colombia for rehabilitation at a Colombian military hospital. However, detailed information such as the number of children, their arrival date, and the duration of their stay in Colombia has not been provided. The announcement was made during President Gustavo Petro’s visit to Sweden.

This plan is part of a broader international effort to aid Palestinians affected by the conflict. Other countries like the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, and Germany have also been offering medical assistance to Palestinians injured in the war. The conflict, which began after Hamas militants attacked Israel on October 7, has led to significant casualties on both sides. According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, Israeli bombardments and ground operations in Gaza have resulted in over 36,000 Palestinian deaths.

Colombia’s decision to provide medical treatment is notable, especially considering the recent cooling of relations between Colombia and Israel. Historically, Colombia has been a close ally of Israel in Latin America. However, since Gustavo Petro’s election as Colombia’s first leftist president in 2022, diplomatic ties have strained. Petro has criticized Israel’s military actions, recalled Colombia’s ambassador to Israel, and severed diplomatic relations, labeling Israel’s government as “genocidal.”

Despite these diplomatic tensions, Colombia has taken humanitarian steps, such as repatriating 310 Colombian citizens from the conflict zone and granting nationality to a Palestinian woman and her children trapped in Gaza. The Colombian government’s expertise in treating individuals wounded in its own internal conflict has been cited as a reason for their confidence in providing effective medical care to the injured Palestinian children​

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