Israel recalled its ambassador to Spain on Thursday, deepening the rift between the two countries amid Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez’s ongoing criticism of Israel.
“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,” Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen announced.
Earlier, Sánchez told Spanish public broadcaster RTVE he has “serious doubts that [Israel] is complying with international humanitarian law” in its military response in Gaza, an operation which has killed more than 13,000 people, according to the Hamas-run health ministry, in the aftermath of the militant group’s violent attack on October 7 which killed 1,200 people in Israel.
Following the remarks, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also asked Cohen to summon the Spanish ambassador to Israel “for a reprimand” over the “shameful comments by the Spanish Prime Minister on the day that Hamas terrorists murdered Israelis in our capital Jerusalem,” referring to the shooting which killed three people at a bus stop in Jerusalem Thursday morning.
“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,” Cohen added.
This is the second time in less than a week that Israel has summoned the Spanish ambassador over controversial remarks made by the Spanish prime minister.
Last week, Israel slammed Sánchez and Belgian leader Alexander De Croo for their comments during a visit to the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza, when they both criticized Israel’s attacks on civilians in the Gaza Strip and stressed the need for more humanitarian aid to be allowed into the Palestinian enclave.