Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez (PSOE/S&D) should apologise to Israel for questioning Tel Aviv’s military response to the Hamas attack on 7 October, the leader of the far-right Vox party, Santiago Abascal, said on Tuesday during a visit to Kibbutz Nir Oz.
“The illegal government of the PSOE (S&D) and Sánchez must apologise to the victims and the Israeli people for questioning the legitimate response of a democratic state in the face of murderers who kill, torture and behead civilians in their homes; rape and kidnap women; kidnap children and the elderly, and use their own civilian population as human shields,” Abascal said on X.
He made no mention of the over 16,000 Palestinians killed in response, including predominantly women and children.
The leader of the third force in the Spanish parliament visited Kibbutz Nir Oz, where Hamas carried out its attack on 7 October, the party reported.
During the visit, Abascal conveyed Spain’s support and solidarity to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and defended the urgent need to put an end to Hamas, which, according to Abascal, is a terrorist group that “embodies absolute evil”.
Israel’s fight against Hamas is a “moral imperative”, he stressed, while expressing his “support, affection and understanding” to the Israeli government following the Hamas massacre that has left 1,200 dead and more than 240 Israelis kidnapped, of whom more than a hundred are still being held.
Abascal led a Vox delegation to Israel to see first-hand the effects of Hamas attacks and to show support for Tel Aviv, the party said in a statement.
The group, which included MEP Hermann Tertsch, vice-president of the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) group, met on Tuesday with the Israeli Minister for Diaspora Affairs and Combating Anti-Semitism, Amichai Chikli, and the Minister of Agriculture, member of the Israeli war cabinet and former head of the Israeli secret service (Shin-Bet), Avi Dichter.
He also expressed “the shame that the majority of Spaniards have felt at the statements made by Pedro Sánchez and the applause he has received from the terrorist group Hamas”, a Vox communiqué writes.
Sánchez has denounced the deaths of civilians in Palestine and condemned the Hamas attacks in Israel, but controversy erupted last week following a joint visit by Sánchez and Belgian Prime Minister Alexander de Croo (Open VLD) to Gaza and the Rafah border crossing in Egypt.
Sánchez expressed Madrid’s willingness to unilaterally recognise the ‘Palestinian state‘ if the EU does not while calling the high number of Palestinian civilians killed in the Israeli offensive unacceptable, triggering a serious diplomatic clash with Tel Aviv.
(Fernando Heller | EuroEFE.Euractiv.es)
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