The Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas celebrated on Thursday the Colombian government’s announcement to break diplomatic relations between Colombia and Israel in protest of the conduct of the war in the Gaza Strip.

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“We greatly appreciate the position of the Colombian president, Gustavo Petro, (…) which we consider a victory for the sacrifices of our people and their just cause”declared the Hamas leadership in a statement, in which it called on other Latin American countries to “break” their diplomatic ties with Israel.

Petro will break diplomatic relations with Israel

The president of Colombia, Gustavo Petro assured this Wednesday that he will break diplomatic relations with Israel for the conduct of the war in Gazaan announcement that upset the Israeli government, but was celebrated as “a victory” by the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas.

“Tomorrow (Thursday) diplomatic relations will be broken with the State of Israel (…) for having a genocidal president”said the president in reference to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Petro has repeatedly criticized the Israeli military’s response in the Gaza Strip to the October 2023 Hamas attacks on Israeli territory.

“The times of genocide, of the extermination of an entire people cannot come before us,” added the Colombian president from the central Plaza de Bolívar, where he summoned thousands of his supporters to coincide with Labor Day.

Following the announcement, Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz said that Petro “decided to support the most despicable monsters humanity has ever known.”

The Hamas leadership declared in a statement, meanwhile, that it “greatly appreciates the position” of the president. “We consider it a victory for the sacrifices of our people and their just cause,” said the movement, which He called on other countries in the region to “break” their diplomatic ties with Israel.

The conflict in Gaza erupted on October 7, when Islamist commandos killed 1,170 people, mostly civilians, and kidnapped about 250 in southern Israel, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli statistics. Authorities estimate that 129 people remain captive in Gaza, of whom 34 have died.

Israel’s military response has caused more than 34,000 deaths, most of them civilians, according to the Ministry of Health of this Hamas-ruled territory.

Bolivia, also with a left-wing government, and Belize previously broke relations with Israel. South Africa closed its embassy in Tel Aviv in November until “further notice.”

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