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Gaza war 'real genocide': Spanish defense minister

Smoke billows following Israeli bombardment in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, on May 25, 2024, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas. (Photo by AFP)

Spanish Defense Minister Margarita Robles has called a “real genocide” Israel’s war on the Gaza Strip, as the occupying regime continues its brutal aggression against the besieged territory.   

Robles made the remarks in an interview with TVE state television on Saturday after Spain decided to formally recognize a Palestinian state, worsening relations between Madrid and Tel Aviv.

"We cannot ignore what is happening in Gaza, which is a real genocide," she said, adding that Madrid's recognition of Palestine was not a move against Israel, but rather it was designed to help "end violence” in the blockaded territory.

On Wednesday, Ireland, Norway and Spain formally recognized the Palestinian state. In reaction, Israeli authorities ordered the regime’s ambassadors from Ireland and Norway to immediately return, and said they would do the same for Spain.

Separately, Spain's Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares demanded that Israel must obey Friday’s ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which called on the occupying regime to “immediately” halt its military assault on the southern Gaza city of Rafah.

"The International Court of Justice's precautionary measures, including the cessation of Israel's offensive in Rafah, are mandatory. We demand its application," Albares said in a post on X.

He also called for the release of prisoners and access to humanitarian aid, stressing that “The suffering of Gazans and the violence must end." 

Israel launched its brutal war on Gaza on October 7 last year after Palestinian resistance groups carried out a surprise retaliatory operation into the occupied territories.

Since the start of the aggression, the Israeli regime has been committing war crimes in Gaza, killing at least 35,903 Palestinians, mostly women and children, and injuring some 80, 420 others.

The Tel Aviv regime has imposed a “complete siege” on the territory, cutting off fuel, electricity, food and water to the more than two million Palestinians living there.

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