Israel recalls Madrid ambassador after Spanish PM questions legality of IDF Gaza operation

Foreign Minister Eli Cohen said the remarks by Pedro Sanchez were ‘outrageous’


Spanish acting Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez talks during a Parliamentary debate on the eve of a vote to elect Spain's next premier, at the Congress of Deputies in Madrid on November 15, 2023. Spain's acting Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez will ask Parliament on November 16, 2023 to be reappointed for another term after he secured the key backing of Catalan separatists in exchange for a controversial amnesty. (Photo by JAVIER SORIANO / AFP) (Photo by JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images)

Israel is recalling the country's top envoy to Spain after Pedro Sanchez questioned the legality of the Jewish state’s military campaign in Gaza.

Foreign Minister Eli Cohen said the remarks by the Spanish Prime Minister were "outrageous”.

In an interview on Thursday on Spanish public television, Sanchez said the world had to tell Israel "it needs to base its actions on international humanitarian law, and with the images we are seeing and the growing number of people dying, especially boys and girls, I have serious doubts".

Cohen wrote on X/Twitter on Thursday: “Because of the outrageous remarks by the Spanish prime minister, who again repeated baseless claims, I have decided to summon the Israeli ambassador in Spain for consultations in Jerusalem.

“Israel is acting and will continue to act according to international law and we will continue with the war until all of the hostages are freed and until the elimination of Hamas in Gaza.

"There is only one body responsible for the massacre on October 7 and for the situation in Gaza today, and that is the Hamas terror organisation that carried out war crimes and crimes against humanity against Israeli citizens and residents of the Gaza Strip."

Sanchez sparked another angry response from Israel last Friday when he denounced the "indiscriminate killings of innocent civilians" in a speech in Egypt.

He was joined by Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo who also said Israel's "operation needs to respect international humanitarian law".

Cohen promptly summoned the ambassadors of both countries "for a harsh rebuke".

It is not immediately clear when Israeli ambassador Rodica Radian-Gordon would leave Madrid for Jerusalem.

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive