Colombia has asked Israel's ambassador, Gali Dagan, to leave the country following a diplomatic dispute over comments made by Colombian President Gustavo Petro regarding the Israel-Hamas conflict.
Foreign Minister Alvaro Leyva called for the ambassador to apologize and depart after he criticized Petro's comparison of Israeli actions in Gaza to the Nazi persecution of Jews.
Petro accused Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant of using language similar to what the Nazis said about Jews.
The conflict escalated after Israel declared war on Hamas following a surprise attack by the militant group on October 7, which left over 1,400 people dead.
Israel's retaliatory bombardment in Gaza has resulted in the deaths of at least 2,750 Palestinians.
Colombian president stated that democratic nations should not allow Nazism to return to international politics.
In response, Israel announced it would halt security exports to Colombia with its foreign ministry citing Petro's "hostile and anti-Semitic statements" and summoning Colombia's ambassador, Margarita Manjarrez.
Petro denied supporting 'genocide' and stated that he was willing to suspend foreign relations with Israel if necessary.
Colombia has a history of close diplomatic and military ties with Israel and the country's armed forces use Israeli-made weaponry.
Petro and Ambassador Dagan engaged in an online exchange with Dagan inviting Petro to visit Holocaust memorials.
Petro has also engaged in an online war of words directly with the ambassador Dagan who had urged the Colombian president to condemn a "terrorist attack against innocent civilians."
In his response, Petro said, "Terrorism is to kill innocent children, whether it be in Colombia or in Palestine."
Dagan then invited Petro to visit the Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem and the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp which the president retorted he saw being "copied in Gaza".
"No democrat in the world can accept Gaza being turned into a concentration camp," the Colombian president said.
Initially, Colombia's foreign ministry had issued a statement to "vehemently condemn the terrorism and attacks against civilians that have occurred in Israel" and expressing solidarity with the victims of Hamas attack.
The statement from Colombia's foreign ministry was later removed and replaced with a version omitting any mention of terrorism.