Netanyahu asked for help from Petro, who has been critical of the war in Gaza

(CNN Spanish) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent a letter asking for help from Colombian President Gustavo Petro, who has been critical of Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza.

In the letter, made available to CNN by Casa de Nariño sources and dated January 11, the Israeli leader calls on the Colombian president to intervene to secure the release of the hostages held by the extremist group Hamas, and the torture experienced by them. The horrors that took place have been described. What the detainees and their families must endure, including one Colombian.

“I am writing to you on a humanitarian issue of utmost importance. As a country with 136 citizens still held hostage by Hamas terrorists in Gaza, Colombia has a common cause to strive for the immediate and unconditional release of the hostages. The situation has reached its peak since October 7, 2023. It has been more than three months since hostages were brutally taken from their homes and a music festival. Many of these hostages lost their loved ones – parents, wives, Saw children, sisters, daughters being raped. Mutilated, tortured and horrifically massacred before their eyes. One of them is a Colombian citizen: Elkana Bohbot,” the Prime Minister said in his letter.

“We must unite to end the suffering of the hostages through the release of them,” Netanyahu said in his letter to Petro.

“Therefore, I appeal to you to make every possible effort to secure the release of Elkana and the other 135 hostages held in the tunnels of terror of Hamas. Whatever pressure you can exert for this purpose (…) will be invaluable. “We will and will continue to help protect innocents,” Netanyahu stressed in the letter.

So far Petro has not publicly commented on this letter. CNN has sought comment on this communication, but we have not yet received a response.

criticism of petro

Petro has been one of the leaders who has taken a strong critical stance regarding Israel’s armed response in the Gaza Strip following the Hamas terrorist attack on October 7, when the attackers killed more than 1,200 people and injured nearly 200 others. Was kidnapped. In fact, Petro’s comments on social media to Network X caused diplomatic turmoil that almost led to the breakdown of bilateral relations. On October 31, Petro called the ambassador to that country for consultations. “I have decided to call our ambassador to Israel for consultations. If Israel does not stop the genocide of the Palestinian people, we cannot live there,” Petrou said on his account on Twitter.

The Colombian President, by instructing the Foreign Ministry, was in favor of the case presented by South Africa against Israel for genocide before the United Nations International Court of Justice.

“The Government of Colombia, under the orders of President Gustavo Petro Urrego, welcomes the lawsuit filed by South Africa against Israel in the International Court of Justice at The Hague for violations of the provisions of the 1948 Convention against Genocide. The country. As President Petro said Palestine “From the very beginning of the bloody phase of the conflict, it is very clear that the actions and measures adopted by the Government of Israel are acts of genocide,” the Foreign Ministry statement said. Cases on 10 January. Israel has argued against the case that the war in Gaza is in self-defense, that it is fighting Hamas, not Palestinians, and that government leaders have shown no intention of committing genocide.

All of Petro’s positions, reaffirmed in dozens of public statements and on social networks, were worthy of rejection and formal claim on the part of the Israeli Foreign Ministry. For this reason, many political and opinion sectors have been surprised by the letter from the Israeli Prime Minister, in which he asks Petro for help in allowing the release of the hostages held by Hamas.

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