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Politicians criticise Spanish govt for November arms sales to Israel

February 12, 2024 at 5:31 pm

A general view of Spanish Parliament during the third day of a session held on July 25, 2019 in Madrid, Spain [Juan Carlos Rojas – Anadolu Agency]

Several high-profile Spanish politicians slammed the government on Monday after a report suggested that Spain continued selling ammunition to Israel, despite its claims to the contrary, Anadolu Agency reports.

“This is unacceptable and contrary to the government’s position,” posted Social Affairs Minister Pablo Bustinduy, retweeting the report by Spanish daily El Diaro.

“To end the genocide, we insist on decreeing a formal embargo and breaking all military, economic, and trade links with its leaders,” added the official, representing the junior coalition party Sumar, saying that he has formally asked the government to do so.

According to El Diario, Spain in November exported €987,000 ($1.1 million) worth of ammunition to Israel.

This news came after Foreign Affairs Minister Jose Manuel Albares told broadcaster Cadena Ser in January that Spain had not sold any arms to Israel since 7 October – the start of the current conflict in Gaza – saying that, in effect, there was an embargo on weapons sales.

Spain’s Secretary of State for Trade justified selling the ammo, telling El Diario that the “material was for tests or demonstrations” and “corresponds to licenses granted before 7 October.”

Even so, the left-wing Catalan party ERC has formally requested that Albares explain the sales in parliament.

Culture Minister Ernest Urtasun, also from the Sumar party, also said in a press conference that his party has been in touch with the Foreign Affairs Ministry.

“We told them that this cannot happen again and demand that any licenses are immediately canceled so that not a single bullet can reach Israel,” he said.

The five Sumar state ministers have also said they will attend a protest in Madrid on Saturday in support of the Palestinian people.

Their calls for an embargo come after Israel has ramped up attacks on Rafah in Southern Gaza, where the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) says 1.4 million refugees are currently living after being displaced from other areas of the strip.

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