Colombian President Gustavo Petro on Tuesday accused Israel of committing “genocide” of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, expressing his “full solidarity” with his Brazilian counterpart Luis Inacio Lula da Silva, amid a diplomatic crisis.

“Genocide is being committed in Gaza. Thousands of children, women and the elderly are being brazenly murdered. Lula said nothing but the truth. If we don’t defend the truth, we will be destroyed by barbarism,” said Mr. Petros via X (the former Twitter).

“I express my full solidarity with the president of Brazil,” added the social democratic president of Colombia.

Lula sparked a political firestorm on Sunday by accusing Israel of committing “genocide” against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, comparing Israeli military operations in the enclave to the extermination of Jews by the Nazis.

He was declared persona non grata by the Israeli government yesterday Monday. Israeli Foreign Minister Katz blasted the “very serious anti-Semitic attack against the Jewish people and the state of Israel” and added that the president of Brazil will not stop being an unwanted person in his country until he “apologizes and retracts” these statements.

Brazil and Colombia supported the historic proceedings initiated by South Africa against Israel at the International Court of Justice (IC) in The Hague for alleged violation of the international Convention on the Prevention and Suppression of the Crime of Genocide (1948).

Colombian President Petro, who said in January that he was willing to mediate in meeting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s request to free the hostages still held by Hamas in the Gaza Strip, called on Latin American countries to “unite” in the effort “to immediately end” the war.

In October, Gustavo Petros paralleled the operation of the Israeli army with the action of the Nazis, triggering a diplomatic crisis with Israel in that case as well.