Brazil’s Foreign Minister Mauro Vieira
Brazil’s Foreign Minister Mauro VieiraReuters/Ton Molina/NurPhoto

Brazil’s Foreign Minister Mauro Vieira on Tuesday accused the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of using controversial remarks made by President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva about the war in Gaza to “hide a massacre” happening there.

“The words from Netanyahu’s government are unacceptable in their form, and deceiving in their content,” Vieira told reporters, as quoted by Bloomberg News.

“They’re putting up a smoke screen to hide the real problem which is the ongoing massacre in Gaza,” he charged.

Vieira also accused his Israeli counterpart Israel Katz of “lying”, saying Katz’s statements were “unacceptable in their nature and lying in their content” as well as “outrageous.”

His comments come after da Silva compared the IDF’s actions in Gaza to Hitler’s actions against Jews in World War II.

"What is happening in the Gaza Strip is not war. This is genocide. It is not a war of soldiers against soldiers. It is a war between a trained military against women and children. What is happening in the Gaza Strip against the Palestinian people has not happened at almost any other time in history. In fact, it only happened once; when Hitler decided to kill the Jews," the Brazilian President charged.

On Monday, Foreign Minister Israel Katz called the Brazilian Ambassador, Federico Mayer, for a reprimand in the wake of da Silva’s comments. The reprimand took place at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial museum in Jerusalem.

"We will not forgive and we will not forget: In my name and in the name of all citizens of Israel, tell President Lula that he is a persona non grata in Israel until he apologizes and retracts his statements," Katz told the ambassador.

Later,da Silva announced that the Brazilian ambassador to Israel would be recalled and that Brazil has decided to summon Israel's ambassador to the country for a reprimand.