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Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (Image: Palestine Chronicle)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

Brazil recalls its ambassador to Israel, a day after Israel declared President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva persona non grata in Tel Aviv until he retracts his recent statements on the war on Gaza.

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has recalled his country’s ambassador to Israel, hours after Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz declared Lula persona non grata in the country.  

Foreign ​​​​​​​Minister Mauro Vieira called the Brazilian ambassador in Tel Aviv, Frederico Meyer, back to the country for consultations on Monday, according to a statement from the country’s Foreign Ministry. He will leave for Brazil on Tuesday. 

On Monday, Israel said Lula is not welcome in Israel until he retracts his remarks likening Tel Aviv’s attack on Gaza to Hitler’s campaign to eradicate Jews in Nazi Germany. 

Katz summoned Meyer to a Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem for a reprimand over the remarks. 

Katz reportedly said, “In my name, and in the name of all Israeli citizens, tell President Lula that he is persona non grata in Israel until he retracts his statements.” 

He also said that Israel “will not forget and we will not forgive.”

‘It’s a Genocide’

Lula told reporters at the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa on Sunday that “what is 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 added, “What’s happening in the Gaza Strip isn’t a war, it’s a genocide. It is not a war of soldiers against soldiers. It is a war between a very prepared army and women and children”. 

Brazil’s Foreign Ministry also reportedly said in a statement that it would summon Israel’s ambassador to Brazil, Daniel Zonshine, for a meeting in Rio de Janeiro.

Lula has been, throughout the years, supportive of Palestine.  

In 2010, as a president, he spoke of his dream of seeing “an independent and free Palestine” during a visit to the occupied West Bank. 

Although he condemned Hamas’ military operation on October 7, he has since then vocally criticized Israel’s genocidal war on Gaza.

Over 29,000 Killed 

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 29,195 Palestinians have been killed, and 69,170 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.

Moreover, at least 7,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip. 

Palestinian and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

The Israeli aggression has also resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all over the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba.

(Palestine Chronicle)

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