Colombia To Suspend Coal Sales To Israel Over Gaza War

International Desk

Published: 09 Jun 2024, 12:33 pm

Colombian President Gustavo Petro. Photo: Collected

Colombian President Gustavo Petro. Photo: Collected

Colombian President Gustavo Petro announced Saturday that his government will suspend coal exports to Israel while it continues its war against Hamas in the Gaza strip. “We are going to suspend coal exports to Israel until the genocide stops,” the leftist leader wrote on X. In May, Petro — who describes Israel’s campaign in Gaza as “genocidal” — announced Colombia would sever ties with Israel over the conflict and open an embassy in Ramallah in the Palestinian territories.

He also said that Bogota would stop purchasing weapons made by Israel, one of the main suppliers of the South American country’s security forces.

According to the Colombian government, the coal export ban will enter into force five days after the decree published in the official gazette and will not affect goods that have already been authorized for shipment.

Between January and August 2023, Colombia exported $375 million in goods to Israel, with a “considerable concentration” of that amount being coal, the government said, underscoring that the material is a “strategic resource for the manufacture of weapons, the mobilization of troops and the manufacture of provisions for military operations.”

The Hamas attack on Israel that triggered the Gaza war resulted in the deaths of 1,194 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli official figures.

Israel’s retaliatory military offensive has killed at least 36,801 people in Gaza, also mostly civilians, according to the Hamas-run territory’s health ministry._Arab News

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