SPAIN’S prime minister Pedro Sanchez has said that he doubted whether Israel’s actions in Gaza respected international laws and he called for the establishment of a Palestinian state.
Sanchez’s remarks prompted the Israeli government to summon the Spanish ambassador to be reprimanded for the second time in less than ten days.
In an interview with TVE on Thursday, Pedro Sanchez said: “With the footage we are seeing and the growing numbers of children dying, I have serious doubts that Israel is complying with international humanitarian law.”
“What we are seeing in Gaza is not acceptable,” he added.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his government on Thursday summoned Madrid’s ambassador ‘after the shameful statement by the Spanish prime minister on the same day that Hamas terrorists are murdering Israelis in our capital Jerusalem’ in reference to the killing of three civilians at a Jerusalem bus stop.
Sanchez told TVE that the relationship between Israel and Spain was ‘correct’ and ‘friendly countries also have to say things to each other’.
The prime minister also said that European countries should discuss the recognition of a Palestinian state, but Israel has insisted that such a state would have to be demilitarised to protect its own security.
Last week, comments by Sanchez and his Belgian counterpart Alexander de Croo over the Gaza situation prompted Israel to summon the ambassadors of both countries.
Meanwhile a prominent Muslim leader in Spain has claimed that Israel’s attacks on Gaza has bolstered interest in the Islamic faith and the situation in the Middle East.
Umar del Pozo, head of the Association of Islamic Community in Spain and of the Granada Mosque Foundation, said that the Palestinian issue raised questions in people’s minds.
“Maybe Europeans started seeing the truth for the first time,” he said, adding that every week the Granada mosque sees one or two new converts to Islam.