Outrage over video: Tensions between Israel and Spain escalate

The 18-second video shows footage of the October 7, 2023 terrorist attack on Israel by Islamist Hamas, repeatedly interspersed with scenes of a couple dancing flamenco. The video reads in large letters: “Hamas: Gracias España” (German: “Hamas: Thank you, Spain”).

Alvarez said in Brussels on Sunday: “No one will intimidate us and we will not engage in provocations that take us off the path of peace.” Earlier in the day, the Spaniard called on Israel to immediately halt military operations in Rafah, as previously ordered by the International Court of Justice (ICJ), in the south of the Gaza Strip.

Madrid is also demanding “a ceasefire, the release of hostages and humanitarian access. “The suffering and violence in the Gaza Strip must end,” Albarez said. Spanish Defense Minister Margarita Robles accused Israel of “genuine genocide” in Gaza.

Fury over Labor Minister’s slogan

On Friday, Israel announced restrictions on the work of Spanish ambassadors in the country. As a result, the Spanish Embassy in Tel Aviv and Consulate in East Jerusalem will be prohibited from providing their services to Palestinians from the Israeli-occupied West Bank in the future. The move was justified by a statement from Spanish Second Deputy Prime Minister Yolanda Diaz.

At the end of a video released that day is now in Israel. The formation is understood as anti-Semitic as it expresses the Palestinian right to sovereignty and denies Israel’s right to exist.

Strong criticism from Spain for months

Spain is one of Europe’s fiercest critics of Israel’s military operations in Gaza. The left-wing government in Madrid halted all arms exports to Israel in October. Following this, Spain, Norway and Ireland announced on Wednesday that they would recognize the Palestinian Authority. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government reacted angrily and summoned the three countries’ ambassadors to the Foreign Ministry to reprimand them.

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The majority of United Nations member states now recognize Palestine as a state. However, this is not the case for the most prominent Western countries, such as the United States and Great Britain, and most EU countries, including Germany and France.

Recognition is seen as a key incentive for the Palestinian side to make concessions in peace talks. Critics of recognition complain that the Palestinian territories lack important criteria for such a move. For example, the border between Israel and the Palestinians remains disputed. This also applies to the political status of East Jerusalem.

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