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Spanish premier rejects Netanyahu’s ‘supposed explanations’ for deadly attack on aid workers

Anadolu Agency EUROPE
Published April 03,2024
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez (REUTERS File Photo)

Spain's prime minister said he rejects Israel's account of its attack this Monday on a humanitarian group convoy that left seven aid workers dead.

"We do not think the supposed explanations of (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu have been sufficient," Pedro Sanchez told journalists in Doha, Qatar on Wednesday, according to El Pais.

"We expect a more detailed clarification of the causes and reasons for this bombing, especially given that the Israeli government knew about the NGO's itinerary," he said when asked about the Israeli government's insistence that the attack was "unintentional."

"From there, we will see what measures we take," the Spanish leader said, leaving the door open to a diplomatic response to the attack on the aid group, which is headed by Spanish chef Jose Andres.

Outside of the attack, which has drawn global criticism, Sanchez also condemned the "worsening situation" in Palestine and the "real risk" of violence expanding into neighboring countries.

"The only hopeful development is that the international community is coming together around a clear position-stopping this war," he told a joint press conference with his Qatari counterpart.

While he said the EU's actions have been "perhaps insufficient," he noted growing momentum and urged the bloc to take an active role in trying to bring peace to the region.

Sanchez said he wants Spain to act as a bridge between Arab countries invested in bringing peace to Palestine and the EU.

This week, on his second Mideast tour since Oct. 7, 2023, when the current conflict began, he held bilateral meetings with the leaders of Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Sanchez is pushing for an urgent international peace process after a permanent cease-fire leading to the creation of a viable Palestinian state.

He said in the peace process, the international community would need to focus on "the reunification of Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, under a single, revitalized Palestinian authority."

Sanchez also confirmed that Spain will support Palestine's fresh bid to become a full UN member state.

At the same time, he emphasized that Spain has committed to recognizing an independent Palestine "as soon as possible," but also spoke of the need for the world to recognize Israel.