Israel’s Mossad spy agency has made a statement claiming that it helped prevent a Hezbollah attack in Brazil. This statement has further strained the already tense relationship between Israel and Brazil, particularly in light of the ongoing conflict in Gaza. On Wednesday, Brazil arrested two individuals on terrorism charges as part of an operation targeting a suspected Hezbollah cell planning attacks within the country. In response, Mossad publicly thanked Brazil’s police and highlighted that Hezbollah continues to target Israeli, Jewish, and Western interests. Brazilian Justice Minister Flavio Dino expressed his anger at Mossad’s comments, emphasizing that Brazil is a sovereign nation and will not be dictated to by foreign forces. While Dino did not explicitly deny the details in the Israeli statement, he was more concerned about its timing, tone, and its connection to the Gaza war. Dino stated that Brazil appreciates international cooperation but rejects any foreign authority attempting to direct Brazilian law enforcement or exploit investigations for propaganda or political purposes. He emphasized that Brazil’s probe has no relation to international conflicts. Dino’s frustration stems from the perception that Mossad’s statement implies Brazil is taking orders from Israel and potentially taking sides in the war. The Israeli Prime Minister’s Office declined to comment on the matter. Dino’s remarks reflect the growing unease among Brazilian officials regarding Israel’s actions following the Hamas attacks and the subsequent bombardment of Gaza. Brazil has become increasingly frustrated with Israel’s slow release of around 30 trapped Brazilians in Gaza. The Brazilian Foreign Ministry warned Israel that the diplomatic relationship would become unsustainable if any harm befell the trapped Brazilians. Brazilian diplomats are perplexed by Israel’s delay in releasing the individuals, considering President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s balanced approach of criticizing the Hamas attacks while calling for a ceasefire. Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen assured his Brazilian counterpart, Mauro Vieira, that Brazilian citizens and their families would be allowed to cross the border the following day, blaming unexpected closures for the delay. Other Latin American countries such as Bolivia, Colombia, and Chile have taken a tougher stance against Israel, severing ties or recalling their ambassadors. Brazil was also displeased when Israel’s ambassador to Brazil, Daniel Zonshine, took pictures with former President Jair Bolsonaro and other far-right politicians during a visit to Brazil’s Congress. Bolsonaro, a political opponent of Lula and a staunch supporter of Israel, is currently ineligible for public office and faces multiple criminal investigations. Zonshine’s comments in an interview after the Federal Police operation were deemed disrespectful by Federal Police chief Andrei Rodrigues, who completely rejected them. The Iranian government and Hezbollah were unavailable for immediate comment.
Have a tip we should know? email@example.com