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Spain: prime minister ‘doubts’ Israel respects humanitarian law

November 30, 2023 at 11:00 am

Spanish Prime Minister and Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) Leader, Pedro Sanchez speaks at the Congress of Deputies in Madrid on November 15, 2023 [Burak Akbulut/Anadolu Agency]

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Thursday that, given the number of casualties among civilians in Gaza, he doubts Israel is respecting international humanitarian law, Reuters has reported. He repeated that military action in the Strip is not acceptable.

Last week, similar comments by Sanchez and his Belgian counterpart Alexander de Croo at the Egyptian-controlled Rafah crossing angered Israel, whose Foreign Minister Eli Cohen said that the remarks repeated “false claims” and “gave terrorism a boost”. Cohen then said he had summoned the ambassadors of both countries.

“The footage we are seeing and the growing numbers of children dying, I have serious doubt [Israel] is complying with international humanitarian law,” said Sanchez in an interview with Spanish state-owned broadcaster TVE. “What we are seeing in Gaza is not acceptable.”

Despite the diplomatic spat, Sanchez, who is pushing for a peace conference, said the relationship between Israel and Spain was “correct” and “friendly countries also have to say things to each other.” He insisted that European countries should discuss the recognition of the State of Palestine.

READ: PA: Gaza facing existential threat, deliberate targeting of civilians