The European Commission has said it is unwilling to support Madrid in a row with Israel over its war with the Hamas terrorist group.
A diplomatic storm between the two nations has nothing to do with the EU because it is simply a “bilateral” issue, the Brussels executive says.
Israel recalled its Ambassador to Spain, Rodica Radian-Gordon, on November 30, a week after Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez visited the country with his Belgian counterpart Alexander De Croo.
Israel’s foreign minister Eli Cohen posted on X: “I decided to recall our Ambassador to Spain for consultations in Jerusalem.”
Hours before the Israeli Government called Radian-Gordon back home, Cohen summoned the Spanish Ambassador in Tel Aviv Ana Salomon for consultations.
The Spanish media is calling the country’s fallout with Israel a “diplomatic crisis.”
Cohen added that Israel’s decision was in response to Sánchez’s “outrageous remarks” and “baseless accusations” regarding the situation in the Middle East.
He argued that Israel is acting in accordance with international law in its war with Hamas.
“Hamas is committing war crimes and crimes against humanity against the citizens of Israel as well as against the residents of the Gaza Strip,” he said.
Cohen said Israel will continue the conflict until all hostages taken by the terrorists are returned and “Hamas is eliminated from Gaza”.
Sources in the European Commission told Brussels Signal that the European Union’s position on Israel and the war is contained within all the latest relevant documents agreed by the 27 Member States.
They added that relations between Spain and Israel are a “bilateral matter” that the EU will not comment on.
When asked about Sánchez’s “first commitment” to lobby in the EU for “the recognition of the Palestinian State”, the EC said the EU “remains committed to the two-state solution” based on the lines drawn in 1967 and in accordance with UN resolutions.
The EC added that this “co-existence” must include “the maintenance of historic and holy sites in Jerusalem” and “equitable solutions for the refugees”.
Sánchez and de Croo controversially received praise from Hamas after their visit to Israel, sparking widespread outrage.
Hamas leaders applauded “the clear and bold stance” of both European leaders “against” the Israeli State.
The Israel visit was Sánchez’s first foreign trip after being re-elected as premier with the support of the separatist parties.
During the meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Sánchez labelled Israel’s actions targeting Hamas a “humanitarian catastrophe”.
He added that “Israel must abide by international humanitarian law in its response” and that “terrorism cannot be eradicated exclusively with the use of force”.
As for Belgium, the EC told Brussels Signal de Croo’s visit to Israel fell within “the realm of their bilateral relations with Israel”.
The war has been divisive among EU Member States.