‘Irrational War’ – Brazil Ratifies Free Trade Agreement with Palestinian Authority 

Brazil’s new President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. (Photo: via Lula's website)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

“We are proud to be the first country in the bloc to ratify the free trade agreement with Palestine. But I cannot help regret that this occurs in a context in which the Palestinian people are suffering as a result of a completely irrational war.”

Brazil has officially enacted a free trade agreement with the Palestinian Authority, in a move of solidarity with the Palestinian people amid the ongoing Israeli genocide in Gaza.

“The agreement is a concrete contribution to an economically viable Palestinian state, which can live peacefully and harmoniously with its neighbors,” Brazil’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva made the announcement during his speech at the 64th Mercosur summit in Paraguay on Monday.

Lula Da Silva expressed regret that the agreement took place while Palestinians were going through “a completely irrational war,” reported the Al-Mayadeen news agency.

“We are proud to be the first country in the bloc to ratify the free trade agreement with Palestine. But I cannot help regret that this occurs in a context in which the Palestinian people are suffering as a result of a completely irrational war,” the Brazilian President said.

Heightened Tensions – Brazil Recalls Ambassador to Israel

The agreement was ratified on Friday, following its signing by the Mercosur trade bloc in 2011, the report said.

It was unclear whether other Mercosur members such as Uruguay and Paraguay would follow suit.

Decision Welcomed

Palestinian ambassador in Brasilia, Ibrahim Al Zeben, welcomed Brazil’s decision, saying it was “courageous, supportive, and timely.”

He told Reuters it was “the effective way to support peace in Palestine,” and expressed hope that Palestinian trade with Mercosur – currently standing at $32 million annually – would increase.

In May, Brazil recalled its ambassador to Israel, following months of tension between the two countries over the ongoing genocidal war in Gaza that has killed more than 38,000 Palestinians.

Lula da Silva angered the Israeli government in February when he accused Tel Aviv of committing “genocide” in the besieged enclave, prompting Foreign Minister Israel Katz to declare him “persona non grata.”

‘Not a War, It’s Genocide’ – Brazilian President Lula on Israeli Onslaught on Gaza

Ambassador Summoned

His statements led to Israel’s Foreign Minister Israel Katz summoning the Brazilian ambassador, Frederico Meyer, to the Holocaust Museum in West Jerusalem for a public reprimand.

Meyer was then recalled for consultations with his government. The action reportedly represented a diplomatic downgrade, with the ambassador being transferred to Geneva where he joined Brazil’s permanent mission to the UN.

Lula da Silva has been supportive of Palestine throughout the years.

In 2010, as a president, he spoke of his dream of seeing “an independent and free Palestine” during a visit to the occupied West Bank.

For Lula’s Victory to Matter: A Proposal for a Unified Palestinian Foreign Policy

Over 38,000 Killed

Currently on trial before the International Court of Justice for genocide against Palestinians, Israel has been waging a devastating war on Gaza since October 7.

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 38,193 Palestinians have been killed, and 87,903 wounded. Moreover, at least 11,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip.

Israel says that 1,200 soldiers and civilians were killed during the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation on October 7. Israeli media published reports suggesting that many Israelis were killed on that day by ‘friendly fire’.

Palestinian and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

‘Not Implausible’ – The Lancet Estimates Gaza Death Toll Could Be 186,000 or More

The Israeli war has resulted in an acute famine, mostly in northern Gaza, resulting in the death of many Palestinians, mostly children.

The Israeli aggression has also resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all over the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba.

Later in the war, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians began moving from the south to central Gaza in a constant search for safety.

(PC, Al-Mayadeen)

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