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Spain and Israel are experiencing a diplomatic crisis that adds new chapters every week. This Thursday, again, Israel recalled its ambassador in Madrid, Rodica Radian-Gordon, for consultations, as a reaction to the statements of the President of the Spanish Government, Pedro Sánchez, this Thursday on TVE. This Friday in Dubai, on the occasion of the COP, the climate summit, Sánchez and the Israeli president, Isaac Herzog, coincide. In principle, no type of contact is planned, such as a parallel meeting, beyond the fact that both are present in the family photo of the leaders. The government does not believe that the diplomatic conflict has escalated or that Israel has broken off relations with Spain with its decision.

A week ago, Sanchez visited Israel, Palestine and Egypt on his first official trip after being sworn in as president. There he met with Herzog and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, warning Israel to "comply with international law." And recalling Spain's experience with ETA, he warned that terrorism "cannot be eradicated by the use of force alone." "It must respect international law. The answer cannot involve the death of innocent people in Gaza, including thousands of children," he said in a thoughtful statement.

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Israel recalls its ambassador to Spain for consultations after Sánchez's "shameful" statements

  • Written by: MARINA PINA

Israel recalls its ambassador to Spain for consultations after Sánchez's "shameful" statements

Middle East.

Sánchez opens a crisis with Israel at the most critical moment of the conflict

  • Written by: SAL EMERGUI Jerusalem
  • Written by: RAÚL PIÑA (Special Envoy)Rafah
  • Written by: MARINA PINA Madrid

Sánchez opens a crisis with Israel at the most critical moment of the conflict

From the Rafah border crossing, in a staging and a speech that stirred Israel up, Sánchez stressed his message: "I reiterated Israel's right to defend itself but within the parameters and limitations imposed by international humanitarian law. And that's not the case. The indiscriminate killing of innocent civilians, including thousands of children, is completely unacceptable."

A message sustained this Thursday in an interview on TVE, in which he considered that Israel must be told that it has to "sustain its actions based on international humanitarian law" and, according to "the images we are seeing and the growing number, especially of children who are dying, I have frank doubts that they are complying with that international humanitarian law".

This Thursday, after the meeting of the President of the Government, the Israeli Foreign Minister, Eli Cohen, recalled his ambassador in Madrid, Rodica Radian-Gordon, for consultations, in reaction to the statements of the President of the Spanish Government, Pedro Sánchez, this Thursday on TVE. In addition, Cohen has recalled the Spanish ambassador in Tel Aviv, Ana Sálomon, for a "reprimand" for what he has described as "shameful" statements, by which Sánchez showed his doubts that Israel is respecting international humanitarian law in its offensive on Gaza.

The Executive downplays the importance of the crisis. They believe that there has been no escalation of the conflict because it is not the first time since October 7, the date of the Hamas terrorist attack, that Israel has recalled its ambassador to Spain for consultations. They also argue that Sánchez's message is the same and that more and more voices are amplifying that position. The European Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarcic, doubted on Tuesday that Israel is acting with "proportionality" in Gaza "when there are more than 15,000 people killed in about 50 days of conflict", and found it "difficult to argue" that the Hebrew state is respecting International Humanitarian Law. The U.S. also condemns the killing of civilians. "Too many Palestinians have been killed. Too many have suffered these past few weeks," U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said.

Meeting with Lula with the visit to Mercosur

The summit will also allow Sánchez to shore up his international profile with two objectives: to achieve investments for Spain and to crown the rotating Spanish presidency of the EU with a major milestone such as the signing of the EU-Mercosur agreement. The President of the Government is scheduled to meet with the heads of Cepsa and Maersk, at the Spanish pavilion at Expo City in Dubai, in order to seek investment for green hydrogen plant projects in Spain.

However, Sánchez's presence in Dubai will be conditioned by a bilateral meeting with Lula da Silva, president of Brazil. One of Sánchez's main objectives as the current president of the EU has been to champion Europe's open strategic autonomy, relaunching relations with Latin America. "Priority will be given to making decisive and definitive progress on agreements with Latin America and the Caribbean, such as the agreements with Chile, Mexico, Mercosur and the EU-Central America Association Agreement," states the Spanish document on the presidency.

Lula presides over Mercosur, Sánchez is the rotating president of the Council of the EU. Both want this deal to be closed under their mandates, which expire in the next few weeks. To this end, they held talks at the beginning of November and will meet this Friday in Dubai. They're running out of time. Both believe that their mandates are "an opportunity for the agreement to be concluded." Sources in the Spanish government believe that if it is not signed now, it will be difficult for it to do so under the mandate of other leaders. That's why they're pushing, pushing. For this reason, Sánchez recently spoke with the president of Paraguay, Santiago Peña, because Brazil cedes the baton of the presidency of Mercosur to Paraguay on December 7, less favorable to understanding with Europe.

Negotiations for an EU-Mercosur agreement began in 1999 and reached a consensus in 2019, but now the agreement is on tenterhooks due to new environmental demands presented by the bloc, which South American partners see as green protectionism.

  • Pedro Sanchez
  • Israel
  • Benjamin Netanyahu
  • Brazil
  • Lula da Silva
  • Articles Raúl Piña