Document was signed by 18 countries, including Brazil; information was provided this week by President Lula

The United States government published this Thursday (April 25, 2024) the joint letter signed by 18 countries, including Brazil, which calls for the release of hostages held by the extremist group Hamas for more than 200 days, in the conflict with Israel, in Gaza Strip.

President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) had already anticipated the content of the document in a meeting with journalists on Tuesday (April 23), at Palácio do Planalto. At the time, the document had not been signed by Colombia, which appears in the new version published by the White House.

Brazil was the first country to recognize the State of Palestine. Since the beginning of the conflict escalation, Lula has criticized Israel and supported South Africa’s initiative to call the UN International Court of Justice (United Nations) to investigate “acts and measures that may constitute genocide or related crimes” and order Israel’s immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

The PT member compared the Israeli military operation with the extermination of Jews carried out by Adolf Hitler in Nazi Germany on February 18. The statement was followed by a loud response from the Israeli government, which publicly reprimanded Brazilian ambassador Frederico Meyer at the Holocaust Museum and declared Lula “persona non grata” (i.e., that she is not welcome) in Israel until she apologizes for what she said.

Read the full joint letter:

“Joint statement by the leaders of the United States, Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Spain, Thailand and the United Kingdom calling for the release of hostages held in Gaza

“We call for the immediate release of all Hamas hostages, who have been detained in Gaza for more than 200 days. Among them are our own citizens. The fate of the hostages and population in Gaza, who are protected by international law, is a cause for international concern.

“We emphasize that the agreement on the table for the release of the hostages would allow for an immediate and prolonged ceasefire in Gaza, which would facilitate the delivery of necessary additional humanitarian assistance to the entire Gaza Strip and lead to a credible end to hostilities. Gazans could return to their homes and lands, with advance preparations to ensure shelter and humanitarian supplies.

“We strongly support the ongoing mediation efforts so that our nationals can return home. We reiterate our call on Hamas to release the hostages and let us bring an end to this crisis so that, collectively, we can focus our efforts on bringing peace and stability to the region.”


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