Israel came under heavy fire on Thursday from Brazilian Justice Minister Flavio Dino, who alleged that Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency had assisted in thwarting an attempt by the Islamist militant group Hezbollah to strike Jewish targets in Brazil.
In response to a highly unusual statement released on Wednesday, Dino stated that Hezbollah was still attacking Israeli, Jewish, and Western sites “given the backdrop of the war in Gaza” and expressed gratitude to Brazilian authorities.
Earlier on Wednesday, Brazil’s Federal Police arrested two unnamed people on terrorism charges, and carried out 11 search and seizure warrants on properties.
Without explicitly naming Israel, Dino said on X, formerly known as Twitter, that “Brazil is a sovereign country,” and “no foreign force orders around the Brazilian Federal Police.”
Dino said the investigations that resulted in Wednesday’s operations “began BEFORE the outbreak of the ongoing tragedies on the international scene,” and said the investigation had “nothing to do with international conflicts.”
“We appreciate appropriate international cooperation, but we reject any foreign authority that deems to direct Brazilian police bodies, or use our investigations for the use of propaganda or its political interests,” he wrote.
He did not explicitly deny any of the details in the Israeli statement, but seemed more angered by its timing, tone and the link it drew to the current war in Gaza.