update deskIsrael-Palestinian Conflict

Brazil ratifies free trade deal with Palestinian Authority

The agreement was signed between the Mercosur trade bloc of South America and Ramallah in 2011.

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva at a rally in Grajau, Sept. 24, 2022. Photo by Wagner Vilas/Shutterstock.
Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva at a rally in Grajau, Sept. 24, 2022. Photo by Wagner Vilas/Shutterstock.

Brazil has ratified a free trade agreement forged with the Palestinian Authority 13 years ago, Reuters reported on Monday.

“The agreement is a concrete contribution to an economically viable Palestinian state, which can live peacefully and harmoniously with its neighbors,” according to a statement by Brazil’s foreign ministry cited in the report.

The deal ratified on Friday was signed between the Mercosur trade bloc of South America and Ramallah in 2011.

Full members of Mercosur include Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay, with Venezuela having been suspended in 2016. Associate countries are Chile, Colombia, Guyana, Peru, Ecuador and Suriname.

It was not immediately clear whether any of these countries would follow Brazil’s move.

Palestinian envoy to Brasilia, Ibrahim Al Zeben, called the decision “courageous, supportive and timely,” Reuters reported.

Trade between Mercosur and the P.A. currently stands at $32 million a year.

In February, Foreign Minister Israel Katz declared Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva persona non grata over his comparison of Jerusalem’s war against Hamas to the Holocaust.

Katz, the son of Holocaust survivors from Romania, told Brazil’s Ambassador Federico Mayer during a tour of the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem that Israel “will not forget and we will not forgive” until the president expresses contrition for his words.

“I want to tell you here that the remarks made by President Lula when he compared the just war of the State of Israel against Hamas which murdered and massacred Jews and Hitler and the Nazis are an utter disgrace, and a severe antisemitic attack on the Jewish people and the State of Israel,” said Katz.

In April, Lula claimed that over 12 million children had died in Gaza and Israel due to the ongoing war. The combined population of Israel and Gaza in 2023 was around 11 million.

You have read 3 articles this month.
Register to receive full access to JNS.

Just before you scroll on...

Israel is at war. JNS is combating the stream of misinformation on Israel with real, honest and factual reporting. In order to deliver this in-depth, unbiased coverage of Israel and the Jewish world, we rely on readers like you. The support you provide allows our journalists to deliver the truth, free from bias and hidden agendas. Can we count on your support? Every contribution, big or small, helps JNS.org remain a trusted source of news you can rely on.

Become a part of our mission by donating today
Topics
Comments
Thank you. You are a loyal JNS Reader.
You have read more than 10 articles this month.
Please register for full access to continue reading and post comments.
Never miss a thing
Get the best stories faster with JNS breaking news updates