Published 11/07/2023 17:26 | Edited 11/09/2023 17:37
The Brazilian government intensifies its efforts to negotiate with Israel the safe return of 34 Brazilian citizens imprisoned in the Gaza Strip, an area ravaged by conflict. Brazilian diplomats delivered a strong message to Israel, according to a report from Globonewswarning that if something happens to these Brazilians, it could seriously harm diplomatic relations between the two countries.
These Brazilian citizens have been trying for weeks to leave the conflict zone and cross the Gaza-Egypt border, but they do not have authorization from Israel to do so. Of these, 24 are Brazilians, seven are Palestinians with RNM (National Migration Registry) and three are Palestinians. Of the total, 18 are children, 10 are women and six are men. So far, the vast majority of foreigners who have passed through the Rafah checkpoint are Americans and Europeans, mainly British, French and Germans.
Despite several rounds of negotiations, they were not included in the lists of foreigners authorized to leave Gaza. Israel committed to allowing his departure, and the situation was reiterated during discussions between Brazilian Foreign Minister Mauro Vieira and President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
“We have been offering these lists for a long time. I cannot accept these more specific difficulties as excuses. Everyone has had their lists for over 10 days. There is no reason for Brazilians not to have left there yet,” Amorim told CNN. “There was no explanation for the non-inclusion of Brazilians. They simply gave priority to other countries”, highlighted Celso Amorim. “Let’s hope there is a quick decision [sobre os brasileiros]. We have been asking for release for more than 15 days. There is no reason for any suspicion. If there was a problem with any of the nationals, they could have spoken out straight away. It’s an absurd situation, where there are 15 children in a group of 32 people.”
The Brazilian government emphasizes that it was one of the first countries to provide a list of its citizens who require repatriation from Gaza. Furthermore, a plane has been on standby for weeks in Egypt, awaiting the opportunity to rescue the group. Negotiations for his release involve Chancellor Mauro Vieira, special advisor Celso Amorim and President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
According to the Brazilian ambassador to Israel, Frederico Meyer, the situation is complicated due to the number of people trying to leave the war-ravaged enclave. He denied any influence of Brazil’s relations with Israel in the selection of who can leave Gaza, citing as an example Indonesia, a country that does not recognize Israel and was included on the first list.
Career diplomat Rubens Ricupero, former Brazilian ambassador in Washington, who is following from a distance, without involvement in the negotiations, also says he sees no signs of retaliation. “Brazil does not have a stance that stands out for its aggressiveness”, pointed out Ricupero.
Israel’s ambassador to Brazil, Daniel Zohar, states that Israel is not the one who decides who is on the exit list and that it is Hamas, the group that controls Gaza, which imposes several conditions for the release of Palestinians with dual nationality, causing delays.
The conflict has persisted for 31 days, causing significant casualties among Palestinians, with thousands of deaths and tens of thousands of injuries. A large part of Gaza’s population was displaced and numerous homes were damaged or destroyed.
Brazilian authorities expressed concern about the delay in ensuring the departure of its citizens, especially children and their families. At this moment, there is no defined timetable for its exit from Gaza, and previous estimates and commitments have not been fulfilled. Brazilian authorities consider the situation absurd and demand quick action to guarantee the safety of its citizens.