Colombia Plans to Provide Medical Treatment to Palestinian Children Injured in Israel-Hamas War 

Colombia's President Gustavo Petro shakes hands in Stockholm, Sweden on June 13, 2024, as the Colombian navy's flagship ARC Gloria seen in the background is docked at the Skeppsbron during the president's visit to Sweden. (TT News Agency / AFP)
Colombia's President Gustavo Petro shakes hands in Stockholm, Sweden on June 13, 2024, as the Colombian navy's flagship ARC Gloria seen in the background is docked at the Skeppsbron during the president's visit to Sweden. (TT News Agency / AFP)
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Colombia Plans to Provide Medical Treatment to Palestinian Children Injured in Israel-Hamas War 

Colombia's President Gustavo Petro shakes hands in Stockholm, Sweden on June 13, 2024, as the Colombian navy's flagship ARC Gloria seen in the background is docked at the Skeppsbron during the president's visit to Sweden. (TT News Agency / AFP)
Colombia's President Gustavo Petro shakes hands in Stockholm, Sweden on June 13, 2024, as the Colombian navy's flagship ARC Gloria seen in the background is docked at the Skeppsbron during the president's visit to Sweden. (TT News Agency / AFP)

A Colombian military hospital would provide medical treatment to Palestinian children injured in the Israel-Hamas war under a plan announced Thursday by the country’s Foreign Ministry.

Colombia’s Deputy Minister of Multilateral Affairs Elizabeth Taylor Jay told reporters the children would travel with their families to Colombia for rehabilitation. She did not provide further details, including the number of children who would receive treatment, when they would arrive in Colombia or how long they would remain in the country.

Neither the foreign ministry nor the office of President Gustavo Petro immediately responded to a request for additional information from The Associated Press. Taylor Jay made the announcement during Petro’s trip to Sweden.

The United Arab Emirates, Jordan and Germany have been receiving Palestinians in need of medical treatment as a result of the war that began after Hamas-led militants attacked Israel on Oct. 7, killing 1,200 people and taking some 250 others hostage.

Israeli bombardments and ground operations in Gaza have killed more than 36,000 Palestinians, according to the Health Ministry, which does not distinguish between combatants and civilians.

Historically, Colombia had been one of Israel’s closest partners in Latin America. But relations between the two nations have cooled since Petro was elected as Colombia’s first leftist president in 2022.

Weeks after the Hamas attack on southern Israel, Petro recalled Colombia’s ambassador to Israel as he criticized the country’s military offensive. In May, he broke diplomatic ties with Israel saying that he could not maintain relations with the “genocidal” government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Taylor Jay on Thursday said the government believes injured children can be treated by Colombian military doctors in part due to “the expertise” they have acquired while caring for people wounded during Colombia’s decadeslong internal conflict.

Since the Israel-Hamas war broke, Colombia has repatriated 310 of its citizens on three humanitarian flights. Petro also granted Colombian nationality to a Palestinian woman, married to a Colombian man, who was trapped in Gaza with two of her Colombian children. The family settled in the South American country in November.



Harris Condemns Flag Burning, Hamas Graffiti at Protest in Washington

Vice President Kamala Harris speaks at the American Federation of Teachers' 88th National Convention on July 25, 2024 in Houston, Texas. (Getty Images via AFP)
Vice President Kamala Harris speaks at the American Federation of Teachers' 88th National Convention on July 25, 2024 in Houston, Texas. (Getty Images via AFP)
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Harris Condemns Flag Burning, Hamas Graffiti at Protest in Washington

Vice President Kamala Harris speaks at the American Federation of Teachers' 88th National Convention on July 25, 2024 in Houston, Texas. (Getty Images via AFP)
Vice President Kamala Harris speaks at the American Federation of Teachers' 88th National Convention on July 25, 2024 in Houston, Texas. (Getty Images via AFP)

US Vice President Kamala Harris joined Democratic and Republican leaders in condemning protesters who burned American flags and sprayed pro-Hamas graffiti outside Washington's Union Station on Wednesday, describing the acts as unpatriotic and abhorrent.

The protests coincided with a speech to Congress by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Before he spoke, protesters marched near the US Capitol building, condemning US military aid to Israel during its war with Hamas militants in Gaza.

Following Netanyahu's speech, some of the demonstrators gathered in front of Union Station. They hoisted American flags outside the iconic train station, burned American ones and spray painted the words "Hamas is coming" and "Free Gaza" on a large monument.

Harris, the Democrats' presidential candidate, said in a statement on Thursday that she condemns any individuals associating with Hamas.

"I condemn the burning of the American flag. That flag is a symbol of our highest ideals as a nation and represents the promise of America. It should never be desecrated in that way," Harris said.

Harris and Biden were due to hold separate meetings with Netanyahu later on Thursday. More protests were planned for outside the White House.

During the protest on Wednesday, before some of the protesters converged near Union Station, police used pepper spray on some of the thousands of demonstrators present and made some arrests.

The flag burning and graffiti outside Union Station drew strong criticism from Republican US House of Representatives Speaker Mike Johnson and Hakeem Jeffries, the chamber's Democratic leader.