Colombian Foreign Minister Requests Israeli Ambassador to 'Depart' the Country

The Colombian Foreign Minister, Alvaro Lloreda, on Monday, requested the Israeli Ambassador in Bogota to "apologize and leave" following the Israeli diplomatic response to President Gustavo Pietro's comments regarding the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian resistance movement, Hamas.

Lloreda described the statements made by Ambassador Gali Dajan in response to Pietro's remarks as "outrageously insane."

Colombian President drew parallels between the ongoing Israeli attacks on Gaza and the persecution of Jews by the Nazis during World War II.

In a post on the "X" platform responding to the Israeli Defense Minister, Yoav Gallant's announcement of a "complete siege" on Gaza in the battle against what he referred to as "animals," Pietro stated, "This is what the Nazis said about the Jews."

He emphasized that "democratic nations cannot allow Nazism to reassert itself in international politics."

On Sunday, the spokesperson for the Israeli Foreign Ministry, Yur Hayat, announced that the Colombian Ambassador to Israel, Margarita Manjarrez, was summoned due to Pietro's statements being "hostile and anti-Semitic."

He added that these statements had caused "astonishment" and accused Pietro of "expressing support for the atrocities committed by Hamas terrorists, fueling anti-Semitism, influencing Israeli representatives, and threatening the safety of the Jewish community in Colombia."

Israel declared war on Gaza last Sunday, a day after Hamas fighters breached parts of the heavily fortified border fence and launched attacks on military positions and neighboring towns, resulting in over 1400 casualties, according to Israeli officials.

The continuous shelling since October 7th has led to the leveling of neighborhoods and the deaths of at least 2750 people in Gaza, with another 9700 injured, the majority of whom are civilians, according to the latest figures from the Ministry of Health in the region.

On Sunday, Israel, one of Colombia's major arms suppliers, announced the "suspension of security-related exports" to the Latin American nation as the diplomatic crisis escalated.

In response to the statement issued by Hayat, Pietro stated that Colombia does not support "genocide."

He added, "If we are forced to suspend foreign relations with Israel, we will do so."

The Colombian armed forces, engaged for decades in conflict with leftist militias, right-wing quasi-military forces, and drug cartels, employ Israeli-made weapons and aircraft.

The country has a history of close diplomatic and military ties with Israel and the United States.

Pietro also engaged in a direct online verbal altercation with Ambassador Dajan, who had called on the Colombian President to condemn the "terrorist attack against innocent civilians."

In response, Pietro stated, "Terrorism is epitomized by killing innocent children, whether in Colombia or Palestine."

Following this, Dajan invited Pietro to visit the Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem and the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp, to which the Colombian President responded by saying he sees it as "a reflection of what is happening in Gaza."

Pietro added, "No democrat in the world can accept turning Gaza into a detention camp."

The Colombian Foreign Ministry initially issued a statement aimed at "strongly condemning terrorism and attacks against civilians that occurred in Israel" and expressing solidarity with the victims of Hamas' actions.

However, later, the link to the statement was disabled and replaced with one that no longer referred to any form of "terrorism."