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Spain's Defense Minister Describes Situation In Gaza As 'Authentic Genocide'

25.05.2024 21:27

This is the first time a minister from Spain’s Socialist Party has used the term.

Spanish Defense Minister Margarita Robles described the situation in Gaza as an "authentic genocide" on Saturday - marking the first time that a minister from her party has used the term.

Previously, only government ministers from Spain's far-left junior coalition party Sumar have described Israel's actions in Palestine as genocidal.

Speaking to Spanish broadcaster RTE from a military parade in the northern city of Oviedo, she said Spain cannot ignore the situation in Gaza, emphasizing that "peace" is the priority of Spain's armed forces and the government.

Spain on May 28 will officially recognize Palestinian statehood, alongside Norway and Ireland.

Despite diplomatic retaliations from Israel, Robles said she is "certain" that Spain and Israel will continue cooperating in terms of anti-terrorism intelligence.

"This isn't going against anyone," she said, referring to Spain's recognition of Palestine. "This isn't going against the Israeli state or the Israeli people, who we respect greatly. This is a push for peaceful coexistence and the end of violence in Gaza," said Robles.

She noted that Spain's armed forces are working on the Israeli-Lebanese border in a UN-led operation for peace.

That work, she said, will "make Spain into an important factor in bringing back peace" in the region, "when the time comes."

Last week, Israel recalled its ambassador to Spain and summoned the Spanish ambassador to Israel, filming her while she was forced to watch footage of the Oct. 7, 2023 Hamas attack.

Then, Spain's Deputy Prime Minister Yolanda Diaz, head of the junior governing coalition partner Sumar, provoked more backlash when she used the phrase, "From the river to the sea, Palestine would be free."

In response to Spain's recognition and what he called Diaz's "anti-Semitic call," Israel's foreign minister said he would "sever the connection between Spain's representation in Israel and the Palestinians, and to prohibit the Spanish consulate in Jerusalem from providing services to Palestinians from the West Bank." -

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