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Spain demands better conditions for Spanish citizen detained in Israel

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Spain has demanded that Israel improve the conditions of Spanish citizen Juana Ruiz who was detained there on April 13 without charge, Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya said on Tuesday.

Israeli officials had no immediate comment, but a person briefed on Ruiz’s case said she was suspected by the Israelis of “terrorist activity and terrorist funding on behalf of the PFLP,” a reference to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine militant group.

Gonzalez Laya told reporters after a weekly cabinet meeting that the Spanish consul general on Monday personally attended to 62-year-old Ruiz during her fourth court hearing in Israel, but Ruiz still did not know what she stood accused of.

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“We are in an intensive dialogue with Israeli authorities,” the minister said, explaining that Spain had demanded the improvement of conditions such as food, hygiene and personal care, and also “asked for full guarantees for Ruiz in this investigation phase.”

Israeli and Spanish media reports described Ruiz as a long-time resident of the Israeli-occupied West Bank, where she is married to a Palestinian and active in a pro-Palestinian NGO.

“We hope the investigation concludes soon so this citizen can find out of what she is accused of, if she is accused of anything,” Gonzalez Laya said.

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