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Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Colombia to Ban Coal Exports to Israel


Sat 08 Jun 2024 | 06:15 PM
Israa Farhan

In a bid to pressure Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to end the conflict in Gaza, Colombia is set to ban coal exports to Israel.

The decision was made by the Colombian Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Finance, Energy, and Trade, according to a draft decree published on the Ministry of Commerce’s website on Friday.

Colombia, a major supplier of coal to Israel, will implement the ban once President Gustavo Petro signs the decree, likely after his return from a trip to Europe.

This move marks a significant escalation in the strained relations between Israel and Latin American governments this year, which had mostly been limited to diplomatic measures rather than economic sanctions.

Last year, Colombia exported about $450 million worth of coal to Israel.

The main suppliers of Colombian coal to Israel are Drummond Company, based in Alabama, and Glencore.

While coal accounts for one-fifth of Israel’s electricity production, this reliance is expected to decrease to around 3% next year. 

However, in times of high demand, two of Israel’s major power plants can switch to coal as a backup.

Last month, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan nearly halted trade with Israel, reflecting a broader trend of deteriorating relations.

Colombia’s announcement to cut diplomatic ties with Israel, accusing Netanyahu of committing "genocide" in Gaza, further escalates the situation.

Historically, Colombia and Israel have enjoyed warm relations and a free trade agreement since 2020. However, tensions have risen in recent months, with President Petro describing the Gaza intervention as "genocide" and Netanyahu labeling Petro as a "Hamas-supporting anti-Semite." The two nations severed diplomatic relations in May.