The Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen (main image) said on Thursday that he was recalling Israel’s ambassador to Spain over ‘outrageous remarks’ by Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez questioning the legality of Israel’s military campaign in Gaza. ALSO READ: Pedro Sánchez: ‘I have serious doubts Israel is complying with international law’.
‘Following the outrageous remarks by the Spanish Prime Minister, who once again repeated baseless accusations, I decided to recall our ambassador to Spain for consultations in Jerusalem,’ Cohen wrote on X (formerly Twitter).
‘Israel is acting, and will continue to act, according to international law, and will continue the war until all the hostages are returned and Hamas is eliminated from Gaza,’ he added. ‘A single entity is responsible for the 7 October massacre and for the current situation in the Gaza Strip, and that is the Hamas terror organisation. Hamas is committing war crimes and crimes against humanity against the citizens of Israel as well as against the residents of the Gaza Strip.’
Cohen’s reaction follows a TV interview in which Sánchez said he had ‘serious doubts’ over the legality of Israel’s actions in the war-torn Gaza Strip.
Diplomatic tensions between Israel and Spain have soared following repeated remarks by Sánchez criticising Israel’s military campaign in Gaza that came in response to the 7 October attack by Hamas.
In an interview on Thursday with Spanish public television, Sánchez said: ‘The footage we are seeing and the growing numbers of children dying, I have serious doubts [Israel] is complying with international humanitarian law.’
‘What we are seeing in Gaza is not acceptable,’ he added.
Israel has also recalled its ambassadors from Turkey and South Africa following remarks by those countries’ leaders over the war in Gaza.
It was not immediately clear when Israeli ambassador Rodica Radian-Gordon would leave Madrid for Jerusalem.
Sánchez sparked another angry response from Israel last Friday when he denounced the ‘indiscriminate killings of innocent civilians’ in a speech in Egypt.
He was joined by Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo who also said Israel’s ‘operation needs to respect international humanitarian law’.
The Israeli foreign minister promptly summoned the ambassadors of both countries ‘for a harsh rebuke’, his office said in a statement, accusing the two leaders of supporting ‘terrorism’.
Following the outrageous remarks by the Spanish Prime Minister, who once again repeated baseless accusations, I decided to recall our ambassador to Spain for consultations in Jerusalem.— אלי כהן | Eli Cohen (@elicoh1) November 30, 2023
Israel is acting, and will continue to act, according to international law, and will continue…