Colombia president likens Israel’s actions to those of Adolf Hitler’s Nazis
Colombia on Monday said Israel's ambassador should leave the South American country amid a worsening spat over President Gustavo Petro's remarks on Israel’s bombardment of Palestinians.
Colombia Foreign Minister Alvaro Leyva said the envoy, Gali Dagan, should "at a minimum, apologize and leave" after criticizing Petro's comparison of Israeli attacks on Gaza with the Nazi persecution of the Jews.
Leyva lashed out on social media at the "rudeness" of Israel's response to Petro, adding: "Shame."
Petro accused Israel’s war minister, Yoav Gallant, of using language about Palestinians similar to what the "Nazis said of the Jews."
The Israel-Hamas war has sparked a ferocious diplomatic spat between Israel and Colombia, with Colombia’s president, likening Israel’s actions to those of Adolf Hitler’s Nazis.
The row began one day after Hamas’s unprecedented October 7 attacks when Petro used his official X account to denounce what he called Israel’s “neo-Nazi” efforts to destroy the Palestinian people, freedom and culture.
"If we have to suspend foreign relations with Israel, we suspend them," Petro said.
Petro has also engaged in an online war of words directly with Israel’s ambassador, who had urged Columbia’s president to condemn a "terrorist attack against innocent civilians."
In his response, Petro said: "terrorism is to kill innocent children, whether it be in Colombia or in Palestine."
"No democrat in the world can accept Gaza being turned into a concentration camp," Petro added.
On October 7, Hamas launched Operation al-Aqsa Storm deep into the territories occupied by the Israeli regime. The operation involved large-scale air, land, and sea strikes.
The group said the operation was a reaction to the recurring desecration of the al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied al-Quds as well as intensified Israeli atrocities against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.
Israel responded with intensive air strikes on civilian targets in the Gaza Strip, killing at least 2,866 Palestinians in Gaza and wounding some 12,000 others, according to the territory’s health ministry.
Source: AP and news agencies