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Israel summons Spanish, Belgian ambassadors following criticism throughout go to to Rafah

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RAFAH, Egypt — The Israeli authorities stated Friday it will summon the Belgian and Spanish ambassadors following remarks by Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and his Belgian counterpart Alexander de Croo on the struggle between Israel and Hamas.

The announcement got here after the 2 leaders criticized Israel for the struggling of Palestinian civilians underneath Israeli army operations in Gaza. Sánchez additionally known as for European Union recognition of a Palestinian state, saying Spain may accomplish that by itself.

Talking at a joint press convention on the Egyptian aspect of the Rafah border crossing with Gaza on Friday, Sánchez stated the time had come for the worldwide group and the European Union to as soon as and for all acknowledge a Palestinian state. He stated it will be higher if the EU did it collectively, “but when this isn’t the case … Spain will take their very own selections.”

Sánchez was talking on the finish of a two-day go to to Israel, the Palestinian territories and Egypt with de Croo. Spain at the moment holds the EU’s rotational presidency and Belgium takes over in January.

Sánchez reiterated feedback made Thursday to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu relating to the killing of civilians.

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“I additionally reiterate Israel’s proper to defend itself however it should accomplish that throughout the parameters and limits imposed by worldwide humanitarian legislation and this isn’t the case,” Sánchez stated. “The indiscriminate killing of civilians, together with hundreds of girls and boys, are utterly unacceptable.”

De Croo didn’t touch upon recognition of a Palestinian state, however stated, “first issues first, let’s cease the violence. Let’s liberate the hostages. Let’s get the help inside … the primary precedence is assist people who find themselves struggling.”

De Croo burdened the necessity and hope for a everlasting cease-fire, including that this “must be constructed collectively. And it may solely be constructed collectively if each events perceive that the answer to this battle is rarely going to be violence. An answer to this battle is that individuals sit across the desk.”

“A army operation must respect worldwide humanitarian legislation. The killing of civilians must cease now. Means too many individuals have died. The destruction of Gaza is unacceptable,” he stated.

“We can’t settle for {that a} society is being destroyed the way in which it’s being destroyed,” he added.

Israel later lashed out on the two prime ministers “for not inserting full accountability for the crimes in opposition to humanity dedicated by Hamas, who massacred our residents and used the Palestinians as human shields.”

Israeli Overseas Minister Eli Cohen instructed the nations’ ambassadors to be summoned for a pointy reprimand. “We condemn the false claims of the prime ministers of Spain and Belgium who give assist to terrorism,” Cohen stated.

“Israel is performing in keeping with worldwide legislation and combating a murderous terrorist group worse than (the Islamic State group) that commits struggle crimes and crimes in opposition to humanity.”

Spanish Overseas Minister José Manuel Albares responded to the summon of Spain’s ambassador late Friday.

“The Israeli authorities’s accusations in opposition to the President of the Authorities and the Belgian Prime Minister are completely false and unacceptable,” he stated in a press release. “We categorically reject them.”

Albares stated the Spanish prime minister has publicly and repeatedly defended Israel’s proper to self-defense and that his tour within the area this week was looking for “a path to peace.”

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