Israel’s embassy in Madrid on Monday said some Spanish officials were siding with the Palestinian militant group Hamas after three ministers criticized Israel’s actions in the Gaza Strip, but Spain’s government rejected the embassy’s claim.
The Israeli embassy in Spain said in a statement that Israel strongly condemned recent remarks by some members of the Spanish government, whom it did not specify.
Referring to Hamas and ISIS, it said it was “deeply worrying” that “certain elements within the Spanish government have opted to align themselves with this terrorism (of) ISIS type”.
The controversy appeared to have been triggered by critical comments by three far-left ministers on Saturday about Israel’s response to Hamas’ attacks on Oct. 7.
Social Rights Minister Ione Belarra said on Saturday that Israel was conducting a “genocide attempt” in the Gaza Strip and called for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to be prosecuted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes.
Two other ministers, in charge of consumer protection and equality, also on Saturday criticized Israel’s operation in Gaza in posts on social media platform X.
Israel urged Spain’s acting Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez to condemn the “absolutely unmoral” remarks, saying they endangered the safety of Jewish communities in Spain.
Criticizing the embassy statement as “falsehoods,” Spain’s Foreign Ministry said the Madrid government strongly condemned Hamas’ attacks on Israel and called for the protection of civilians in Gaza. “Any political leader can freely express their positions as a representative of a political party in a full democracy such as Spain’s,” it said.
Posting on X in response to the embassy statement, Belarra on Monday said: “Denouncing this genocide is not ‘aligning with Hamas,’ it is a democratic obligation. Silence, complicity with terror.”