Amidst the escalating tensions and the horrors unfolding due to the confrontation between Israel and the Islamist group Hamas, Colombian President Gustavo Petro has once again voiced his concerns. In a recent statement on his social media account, he announced the recall of Colombia’s ambassador to Israel, Margarita Eliana Manjarrez, for consultations.
The Colombian Perspective
President Petro’s decision to recall the ambassador stems from his strong stance on the conflict. He stated, “If Israel does not halt the massacre of the Palestinian people, we cannot remain there.” This move by the Colombian president has garnered international attention, especially since he did not condemn Hamás’s incursion into Israel, which many believe led to the outbreak of the war in the Middle East.
Furthermore, President Petro’s silence following the tragic death of two Colombians during a music festival, which was Hamás’s first target upon their violent entry into Israel, has raised eyebrows. Despite this, Petro has consistently shown support for the Palestinian people and has vehemently criticized Israel’s actions. A few weeks ago, a potential diplomatic crisis was averted after a series of messages from Colombian Foreign Minister Álvaro Leyva against the Israeli ambassador to Colombia, Gali Dagan. The situation was eventually resolved following a meeting between the president, the foreign minister, and the ambassador.
A Global Response
Colombia isn’t the only country expressing its concerns. Chile’s President, Gabriel Boric, also recalled his ambassador to Israel, Jorge Carvajal, citing “unacceptable violations of International Humanitarian Law” by Israel in the Gaza Strip.
Bolivia went a step further. The nation announced the severance of its diplomatic ties with Israel, condemning the offensive in the Gaza Strip following Hamás’s attack on October 7. Bolivia’s leftist President, Luis Arce, is the first in Latin America to cut ties with Israel since the onset of this conflict, which has resulted in thousands of casualties.
Since the attacks initiated by the Islamist Palestinian movement on Israel, which resulted in over 1,400 deaths, Israel’s military response in the Gaza Strip has led to more than 8,500 fatalities. Many of these victims are children, as reported by health authorities in the Palestinian territory.
Bolivia’s Vice Foreign Minister, Freddy Mamani, stated, “We have decided to break diplomatic relations with the State of Israel in repudiation and condemnation of the aggressive and disproportionate Israeli military offensive in the Gaza Strip.” The Bolivian government has also announced its intention to send humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip.
The Israel-Hamas conflict has not only affected the Middle East but has also resonated globally, with nations like Colombia, Chile, and Bolivia taking definitive stances. As the world watches closely, the hope remains for a peaceful resolution and an end to the suffering of innocent civilians.