© 2024 KUAF
NPR Affiliate since 1985
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Affected by May 26 tornadoes? Find relief resources here.

Colombia will break relations with Israel over its actions in Gaza, Petro says

Colombian President Gustavo Petro (center right) attends an International Workers' Day rally in Bogotá, Colombia, on Wednesday.
Jair F. Coll/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Colombian President Gustavo Petro (center right) attends an International Workers' Day rally in Bogotá, Colombia, on Wednesday.

Colombia is set to break diplomatic relations with Israel over its actions in Gaza.

Speaking to a crowd in the capital Bogotá on Wednesday, Colombian President Gustavo Petro said that the country "will break diplomatic relations with the state of Israel" on Thursday, calling its government "genocidal."

"If Palestine dies, humanity dies, and we are not going to let it die," he said.

Israel has strongly denied committing genocide in its war against Hamas in Gaza.

"History will remember that Gustavo Petro decided to side with the most despicable monsters known to mankind," Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz saidsaid in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

Colombia is one of the U.S.'s closest partners in Latin America, and it has previously been a close partner of Israel.

But Colombia's leftist president is one of several Latin American leaders to take a strong vocal stand against Israel since its military campaign in Gaza in response to the Oct. 7 Hamas-led attack on Israel.

Bolivia broke off relations with Israel on Oct. 31. And Nicaragua has brought charges at the International Court of Justice alleging Germany is violating the Genocide Convention by providing weapons and aid to Israel. Germany denies the charge.

This week the United Nations' court at the Hague rejected Nicaragua's request to order a halt to Germany's arms exports to Israel.

Copyright 2024 NPR

Alex Leff is a digital editor on NPR's International Desk, helping oversee coverage from journalists around the world for its growing Internet audience. He was previously a senior editor at GlobalPost and PRI, where he wrote stories and edited the work of international correspondents.