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Spanish PM's remarks on Gaza conflict spark further war of words with Israel

Published : 01 Dec 2023, 01:12

  DF News Desk
People walk past destroyed buildings in Gaza City, on Nov. 29, 2023. Photo: Xinhua.

The diplomatic relations between Spain and Israel worsened on Thursday after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu criticized comments by Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez that he had "serious doubts" over whether Israel was observing international humanitarian law in Gaza, reported Xinhua.

Speaking on the Spanish state TV network RTVE about the conflict in Gaza, Sanchez first underlined that "what Hamas did in Israel is absolutely despicable."

He stressed Spain's "condemnation and rejection" of the attack, saying that "Hamas has to free all of its hostages in Gaza without any conditions."

However, Sanchez also said Israel must "base its actions on international humanitarian law."

"With the images that we are seeing, and the growing number of victims, especially children who are dying, frankly I have doubts that they (Israel) are fulfilling international humanitarian law," he added.

According to Hamas medical service, over 15,000 Palestinians were killed during the Israeli bombardments in the wake of the Hamas' attack on Israel on Oct. 7th, including at least 6,150 children and 4,000 women. Israel said that the Hamas attack had killed about 1,200 people while more than 200 people were taken as hostages.

The Spanish prime minister said that a political solution was needed to end the conflict in Gaza and the solution is a Palestinian state. He argued that Israel is already an internationally recognized country and the United States and European countries should also recognize Palestine.

In response to Sanchez's words, the Israeli premier's office said in a tweet that the Spanish Ambassador to Israel was summoned to the Israeli Foreign Ministry "for a reprimand," calling Sanchez's words "shameful comments."

Last week, Israel accused Sanchez of supporting terrorism after he criticized the Israeli offensive on Gaza while visiting the Rafah frontier post between Egypt and Gaza, which made Spain tell the Israel Ambassador in Madrid that the accusation was "especially serious."