29 May, 2024 @ 14:19
1 min read

Spain’s far-right Vox leader visits Israel: Santiago Abascal vows to ‘undo’ Pedro Sanchez’s recognition of Palestine in surprise meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu

He told the Israeli premier that 'Pedro Sanchez is not Spain'
Santiago Abascal Indignado Con Tve Quot Se Les Ha Olvidado Pintarme Los Cuernos Quot

SANTIAGO Abascal, the leader of the far-right Vox party, made a surprise visit to Israel on Tuesday where he promised to ‘undo’ Spain’s recognition of a Palestinian state if he ever becomes Prime Minister.

The hard-right politician, who has been labelled as Islamophobic by some critics, met with Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, in a meeting in Jerusalem where he reiterated his support for Israel’s right to ‘defend herself’ in the face of Hamas aggression.

Abascal’s intervention was timed to coincide with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s announcement that his government was formally recognising Palestine in an effort to ‘contribute to the achievement of peace between Israelis and Palestinians’. 

The Vox leader told Netanyahu, who is the subject of an arrest warrant from the International Criminal Court (ICC) over Israel’s controversial military campaign in Gaza, that ‘Pedro Sanchez is not Spain’, adding that the Spanish PM was ‘taping over the corruption allegations against his wife by focusing on Palestine’ and launching ‘attacks’ against Javier Milei, the hard-right leader of Argentina. 

READ MORE: Spain approves recognition of state of Palestine: Madrid declares Jerusalem as the capital and says 1967 borders should return – but Israel accused PM Pedro Sanchez of ‘inciting genocide’

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced his government’s formal recognition of Palestine on Tuesday morning. Credit: Cordon Press

Abascal’s meeting is the second time he has visited Israel since the start of the conflict.

Diplomatic relations between Israel and Spain have deteriorated over the war in Gaza, with Sanchez a vocal critic of Israel’s military campaign which has killed more than 35,000 Palestinian citizens.

Israel Katz, Israel’s foreign minister, responded to Sanchez’s calls for a ‘permanent ceasefire, the entry of humanitarian aid into Gaza, and the immediate release of all the Israeli hostages held by Hamas’ by labelling the Spanish premier as ‘complicit in inciting the murder of the Jewish people’. 

Katz’s comments were criticised by Jose Manuel Albares, the Spanish foreign minister, who also said the government were ‘not going to fall into provocations’ after his counterpart also posted a video on X of a Spanish couple dancing interspersed with clips of Hamas’ October 7 attack which killed some 1,200 people.

Ben Pawlowski

Ben joined the Olive Press in January 2024 after a four-month stint teaching English in Paraguay. He loves the adrenaline rush of a breaking news story and the tireless work required to uncover an eye-opening exclusive. He is currently based in Barcelona from where he covers the city, the wider Catalunya region, and the north of Spain. Send tips to [email protected]

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