King and PM speak out as a total of 42 Palestinians in a UN-run school died on the day the Three Kings brought a message of peace and goodwill to Spain
BOTH the Spanish King and Prime Minister have called for an immediate halt to the violence in Gaza.
The calls came as Israeli bombs killed 42 people sheltering in a UN-run school in the Palestinian enclave.
Children are thought to have been among those who died when three tank shells exploded in the yard outside the building in the Jabalya refugee camp.
Medical officials in Gaza said hundreds of people were sheltering to escape being hit during operations against the militant Islamic group Hamas.
In total 75 Palestinians died on the day that the Three Kings brought a message of peace and goodwill and gifts to children across Spain. In total 629 have died since the conflict began.
Spanish Prime Minister, José Luis Zapatero, slammed Israel insisting the country was not on the road to peace in the Middle East.
The Spanish Prime Minister insisted that the population should not be held hostage, and that everyone must make an effort to avoid the serious spiral of violence.
He roundly condemned the ‘absolutely disproportionate reactions of Israel’ which he said ‘are against international human rights’.
But he also criticised the ‘irresponsible and provocative conduct’ of Hamas by breaking the cease fire.
He called on the international community to react. He is expected to pass on his opinions to Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, this week and is due to meet with President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmud Abbas in Madrid on Friday.
Meanwhile King Juan Carlos has joined calls for an immediate cease-fire between Israel and Hamas.
In a traditional Epiphany Day speech on Jan 6, King Juan Carlos said the crisis demanded “all diplomatic efforts necessary to achieve, as our government has urged, an immediate cease-fire to bring an end to the dramatic situation of violence and suffering in the region.”
Medical officials in Gaza said more than 2,700 Palestinians have been wounded since Israel began the campaign before Christmas. It’s declared aim is ending the Hamas rocket attacks on its southern towns.
Nine Israelis, including three civilians hit by rocket fire, have been killed in the conflict.