Israel Recalls Ambassador to Spain Amid Diplomatic Dispute

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz announced Thursday that Israel’s ambassador to Spain would resume her duties in Madrid, a month after recalling her following comments deemed “scandalous” made by the Spanish Prime Minister.

Rodica Radian-Gordon was recalled in November by the then Israeli Foreign Minister, Eli Cohen, following what he called “scandalous remarks” made by the head of the Spanish government, Pedro Sanchez.

The latter had declared on Spanish public television that he had “serious doubts” about the legality of Israel’s actions in the besieged Gaza Strip given “the increasing number of people who are dying, especially young boys and girls”. Comments which were considered scandalous by Eli Cohen, then head of Israeli diplomacy.

On Thursday, his successor Israel Katz said he had decided to send his ambassador back to Madrid. He said the goal was to garner support “for the right of the State of Israel to protect its citizens against the terrorist organization Hamas and to exert international pressure for the release of the hostages.”

Diplomatic tensions between Israel and Spain have skyrocketed in recent weeks. Spain is one of the most critical voices within the European Union regarding Israel. Israel also recalled its ambassadors from Turkey and South Africa following remarks by those countries’ leaders on the war in Gaza.

The attack carried out by Palestinian Hamas commandos on October 7 left around 1,140 dead in Israel, mostly civilians, according to an AFP count based on the latest official Israeli figures available. Since the start of hostilities, 22,438 people, mainly women, adolescents and children, have been killed in the Gaza Strip, according to the latest Hamas report on Thursday.

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