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Brazil recalls ambassador to Israel in diplomatic rift over regime's genocide in Gaza

Brazil's President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva gives a speech during his visit to the Arab League headquarters in Cairo, Egypt, on February 15, 2024. (via Reuters)

Brazil has recalled its ambassador to Israel in a diplomatic rift between the Latin American country and the occupying regime after the Brazilian president compared Tel Aviv’s atrocities against Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip to Adolf Hitler's actions against Jews.

The new development came on Monday just a day after Brazil's President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva unequivocally lambasted the Israeli regime's savagery in its military aggression against the coastal territory, which has so far killed more than 29,000 Palestinians, mostly women and children.

The Tel Aviv regime has also imposed a complete siege on the territory, cutting off supply of fuel, electricity, food, water and medicine to more than two million Palestinians living there.

"What’s happening in the Gaza Strip isn’t a war, it’s a genocide," Lula said while addressing an African Union summit in the Ethiopian capital city of Addis Ababa on Sunday, adding, "It’s not a war of soldiers against soldiers. It’s a war between a highly prepared army and women and children."

"What’s happening in the Gaza Strip with the Palestinian people hasn’t happened at any other moment in history. Actually, it has happened: When Hitler decided to kill the Jews,” he noted.

The Brazilian Foreign Ministry confirmed that the country's ambassador to Israel has been recalled "for consultations," adding that it has also summoned the Israeli ambassador to Brasilia.

"Given the gravity of the statements ... by ... Israel, Foreign Minister Mauro Vieira ... has summoned the Israeli ambassador, Daniel Zonshine, to report today to the Foreign Ministry," it said, adding that the minister also "recalled the Brazilian ambassador in Tel Aviv, Frederico Meyer, for consultations."

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz had reacted to Lula’s harsh comments by summoning Brazil’s ambassador for a formal reprimand, telling the envoy that "President Lula ... is persona non grata in Israel until he takes it back."

On Monday, however, Reuters quoted unnamed informed sources as saying that Brazil does not intend to retract President Lula's comments on Israel.

Lula's orders are that there will be no retraction and any answers will be given through diplomatic channels, the sources said.

This is not the first time that the Brazilian president has singled out the Israeli regime for outspoken criticism since the onset of its military onslaught on Gaza.

Speaking after a meeting with his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Cairo on Thursday, Lula said Israel's behavior in the Gaza Strip "has no explanation."

"With the pretext of fighting [the Palestinian resistance movement] Hamas, it is killing women and children," the Brazilian chief executive added.

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