Colombia suspends Israel arms purchases after Gaza aid deaths

Colombia suspends Israel arms purchases after Gaza aid convoy deaths

/ 08:15 AM March 01, 2024


Palestinians mourn near a body at Kamal Edwan Hospital in Beit Lahia, in the northern Gaza Strip, on February 29, 2024, after Israeli soldiers allegedly opened fire at Gaza residents who rushed towards trucks loaded with humanitarian aid amid ongoing battles between Israel and the militant Hamas group. A Gaza emergency doctor said on February 29 that Israeli forces shot dead at least 50 people who rushed towards trucks loaded with humanitarian aid for Gaza City residents. The Israeli army said it was “checking” the reports on the incident, while the United Nations’ humanitarian office OCHA said it was “familiar with the reports”. (Photo by AFP)

Bogotá, Colombia — Accusing Israel of “genocide” in Gaza, Colombia’s leftist President Gustavo Petro on Thursday suspended Israeli weapons purchases after dozens of people died in a scramble for food aid in the war-torn Palestinian territory.

Israel is one of the main providers of weapons to the South American country’s security forces, which are engaged in a decades-long conflict with leftist guerrillas, right-wing paramilitaries and drug cartels.


Petro made his announcement Thursday after Israeli forces opened fire on Palestinians scrambling for food aid in a chaotic melee that the health ministry in the Hamas-run territory said killed more than 100 people. Scores were injured.


READ: US pressing for answers on deadly Gaza aid incident

An Israeli source acknowledged troops had opened fire on the crowd, believing it “posed a threat.”

“Asking for food, more than 100 Palestinians were killed by (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu. This is called genocide and recalls the Holocaust,” Petro wrote on X.

“The world must block Netanyahu. Colombia is suspending all arms purchases from Israel.”

Colombia’s military and police have for decades used rifles, pistols and missiles from Israel.

Its air force owns about 20 Kfir combat aircraft, and the country has the rights to manufacture Galil automatic rifles and Spike missiles under Israeli patent.


Petro, a critic of Israel’s campaign in Gaza, has argued vehemently with the ambassador of that country in Bogota, Gali Dagan.

In October, just days after the start of the war, Israel said it was “halting security exports” to Colombia after Petro accused Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant of using language about the people of Gaza similar to what the “Nazis said of the Jews.”

Colombia’s first leftist president has also asserted that “democratic peoples cannot allow Nazism to reestablish itself in international politics.”

Thursday’s incident added to a Palestinian death toll which the Gaza health ministry said had topped 30,000, mainly women and children.

The war began on October 7 with an unprecedented Hamas attack on southern Israel that resulted in the deaths of around 1,160 people, mostly civilians, Israeli figures show.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Militants also took about 250 hostages, 130 of whom remain in Gaza, including 31 Israel says are presumed dead.

TAGS: Colombia, Gaza

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.