Spain to ramp up aid to Gaza by 1 million euros, ready to send more

Spain will increase its humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip with a package worth 1 million euros ($1.06 million) and is prepared to send more, the country’s acting foreign minister told a news conference on Tuesday.

“The aid must reach the civilian population of Gaza, and Spain is ready and willing to participate” in humanitarian efforts, Jose Manuel Albares said, adding that more packages “will come, because everything points to the need for more (aid).”

On Monday, Israel’s embassy in Madrid said that some Spanish officials were siding with the Palestinian militant group Hamas after three left-wing ministers criticized Israel’s bombing of Gaza, but Spain’s foreign ministry rejected the claim in a statement.

Madrid reiterated that it strongly condemned Hamas’ attacks on Israel, while calling for the protection of civilians in Gaza, and said any representative of a political party was free to express their positions “in a democracy such as Spain’s.”

Asked about the diplomatic row, Albares described it as a “one-off incident” in bilateral relations that had been settled with his ministry’s statement and a personal call to the ambassador in which he characterized the Israeli embassy’s accusations as an “unfriendly gesture” toward Madrid.

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