Israel has suspended its defense dealings with Colombia following a tense exchange on social media between Colombian President Gustavo Petro and Israeli Ambassador to Bogota Gali Dagan.
Analysts based in Bogota told the Associated Press that the development could jeopardize several military contracts, including maintenance work on Colombia’s Israel Aircraft Industries Kfir combat aircraft.
The two sparred on X, formerly known as Twitter, over the weekend with Dagan calling out Petro for refusing to condemn Hamas’ raid that killed hundreds of Israeli civilians.
According to Defense News, the Colombian leader then posted messages that alleged Israel’s military forces killed innocent children in Palestine.
Petro also accused Israel of committing genocide in Gaza, stressing that Colombia would not hesitate to cut ties with Tel Aviv.
“If we must suspend diplomatic relations with Israel, then that is what we will do,” the president declared on X on Sunday.
In a press release, the Israeli Foreign Affairs Ministry confirmed that the word war prompted Israel to summon Colombian envoy Margarita Manjarrez to relay its decision to severe defense cooperation with her country.
Colombia had enjoyed close ties with the Jewish nation right up to Petro’s ascension to the presidency in 2022, with its armed forces heavily relying on Israeli weapons and technology.