Colombia is halting coal exports to Israel, a move made by President Gustavo Petro in protest against the ongoing conflict in Gaza.

The Colombian Government has issued a draft decree stating that the export of coal to Israel will be paused until the country adheres to the International Court of Justice’s demand to cease military activities in Rafah.

The Colombian Trade Ministry said the ban would be effective five days after its publication in the official gazette.

However, this measure will not impact shipments to Israel that have already received approval.

Coal exports to Israel were worth $320m (NIS1.2bn) in the first eight months of last year, the Financial Times reported, citing government data.

The decision aligns with actions taken by other nations, such as Turkey’s trade halt with Israel last month, demanding an “uninterrupted and sufficient flow” of humanitarian aid to Gaza.

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Additionally, the Maldives has recently imposed a ban on Israeli tourists, showing solidarity with Gaza.

Despite historical ties and defence collaborations between Colombia and Israel, President Petro has been a prominent critic of Israel’s actions in Gaza, following the Hamas attack on 7 October 2023.

In May, following the severance of diplomatic ties with Israel, a heated exchange occurred between Petro and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

This dispute signifies a significant shift from the traditionally cordial relations that Colombia and Israel have shared for many years.