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Brazilian President calls back Ambassador Meyer from Israel after global fury over Rafah massacre

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has recalled the country’s ambassador to Israel following months of escalating tensions over Israel’s war on Gaza.

The decision was published in Brazil’s official gazette on Wednesday. Lula has frequently criticized Israel’s offensive in Gaza, at one point comparing it to the Holocaust, which led Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz to publicly reprimand the Brazilian ambassador at the national Holocaust museum in West Jerusalem.

Ambassador Frederico Meyer has been reassigned to Geneva, where he will join Brazil’s permanent mission to the United Nations and other international organizations. Lula, an influential figure in the Global South and the current president of the G20, has faced criticism from the far right in Brazil over his Holocaust remarks but has found support elsewhere in Latin America, including from Colombian President Gustavo Petro, who has also cut ties with Israel.

Both Brazil and Colombia back South Africa’s complaint against Israel at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, accusing Israel of violating the Genocide Convention with its actions in Gaza.

The conflict has resulted in the deaths of more than 36,000 Palestinians and injured over 81,000. In Israel, at least 1,139 people have died from Hamas’s attacks on October 7, which triggered the war, and many are still held captive in Gaza.

As the conflict continues, Israel faces increasing global condemnation, especially regarding its operations in Rafah, the last city in Gaza to experience a ground offensive. Israel is also maintaining strict limitations on the entry of crucial humanitarian aid.

Before the Rafah offensive began on May 7, the United Nations warned that up to 1.4 million people were seeking refuge in the city. Since then, one million people have fled the area, according to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA).

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I am an experienced writer, analyst, and author. My exposure in English journalism spans more than 28 years. In the past, I have been working with daily The Muslim (Lahore Bureau), daily Business Recorder (Lahore/Islamabad Bureaus), Daily Times, Islamabad, daily The Nation (Lahore and Karachi). With daily The Nation, I have served as Resident Editor, Karachi. Since 2009, I have been working as a Freelance Writer/Editor for American organizations.

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