Israel recalls its ambassador in Spain after Prime Minister Sanchez expresses ‘genuine doubts’ that Israel is respecting international humanitarian law

ISRAEL has indefinitely recalled its ambassador in Spain after Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez used a television interview this morning to express ‘genuine doubts’ that Israel is respecting international humanitarian law with its response to the terrorist atrocities committed by Hamas on October 7. 

The move to recall ambassador Rodica Radian-Gordon was announced by Israel’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Eli Cohen via X (formerly Twitter).

“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,” he wrote, adding: “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.” 

The move ramps up a diplomatic crisis that began last week when Sanchez made a visit to Israel and Palestine, and during which he stated that ‘the number of Palestinians killed is truly unbearable’ while in the presence of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. 

Last Friday, Israel summoned the Spanish and Belgian ambassadors stationed in the country in response to the comments made by Sanchez as well as Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo, who was also on the trip. The Israeli authorities stated that the European leaders’ comments ‘gave support to terrorism.’

This morning, Sanchez granted his first interview after he was voted back into office as prime minister by lawmakers in Congress earlier this month. Speaking on state broadcaster TVE’s La 1 channel, he once again condemned Hamas’s coordinated attacks but said that ‘friendly countries really have to be able to tell one another things’.

The Socialist Party leader told his interviewers that the 20-minute video he was shown by Netanyahu of the Hamas attacks was ‘very tough’. 

The attacks have ‘our condemnation’, he said, calling for the release of Israeli hostage held by Hamas.

But he added, ‘with the same conviction’, Israel must be told that its response should be within the boundaries of international humanitarian law. 

“With the images that we are seeing, and the growing number of children who are dying, I have genuine doubts that [the law] is being observed,” he said.

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