Israel frowns at Spain for demanding accountability for war crimes in Palestinetext_fields
Madrid: A diplomatic crisis developed between Spain and Israel after some left-wing Spanish ministers brazenly accused Israel of preparing a genocide in Palestine and called for actions to bring Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before the International Criminal Court for war crimes.
Ione Belarra, the social rights minister and leader of Unidos Podemos, Spain's far-left coalition partner, took to social media to express support for Palestine and called for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to face the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes.
The Israeli Embassy in Madrid responded by accusing unnamed Spanish ministers of aligning with the Palestinian group Hamas, which recently initiated a deadly offensive in Israel. The embassy labelled this alignment as "deeply worrying" and likened it to supporting terrorism of an "ISIS type."
Spain's equality minister, Irene Montero, has also spoken out against Netanyahu, stating that no one should be spared from punishment for violating international criminal law and committing war crimes. She also emphasized the urgency of defending peace and human rights.
Israel demanded that Spain's acting Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez condemn the remarks made by his government's ministers, claiming that they jeopardized the safety of Jewish communities in Spain.
In response, Spain's Foreign Ministry criticized the embassy's statements as "falsehoods" and reaffirmed the government's condemnation of Hamas attacks on Israel.
The political divisions within Spain deepened as the far-left factions clashed with the stance of Prime Minister Sanchez, who, breaking off from a European Union conference, reiterated Spain's condemnation of the Hamas attack against Israel. Opposition parties accused Sanchez and his allies of tarnishing Spain's image abroad, with the leader of the People's Party describing Spain's response as "rude."
As the dispute unfolded, demonstrations in support of the Palestinians took place in Madrid and Barcelona, reflecting the public's concern over the human toll of the conflict. Despite the political wrangling, some Spaniards, like businesswoman Gema Otero from Barcelona, voiced the sentiment that civilians on both sides were suffering the most and urged a cessation of hostilities.