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News > Palestine

PM Sanchez's Statements on Gaza Strain Israel-Spain Relations

  • A Palestinian children injured during bombings by Israeli occupation forces in Gaza, Nov. 2023.

    A Palestinian children injured during bombings by Israeli occupation forces in Gaza, Nov. 2023. | Photo: X/ @QudsNen

Published 1 December 2023

The images of Palestinian children dying made Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez doubt whether Israel is fulfilling international humanitarian law.

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


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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.

The Spanish PM 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 that the Spanish Ambassador to Israel was summoned to the Israeli Foreign Affairs 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."

Since the bombings against Gaza began on Oct. 7, Israeli occupation forces have killed over 15,000 Palestinians, including 6,150 children and 4,000 women, according to Hamas medical service.


Pedro Sanchez
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