Spain’s premier reiterates call for cease-fire in Gaza, voices support for UN chief

By Anadolu Agency

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez reiterated his call for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza and expressed support for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, whose recent comments on the Israel-Palestine conflict irked Israeli authorities, local media reported Wednesday.

Condemning the Palestinian group Hamas and emphasizing that Israel has the right to self-defense, Sanchez said “it is urgent and imperative that there be a humanitarian cease-fire so that aid can enter Gaza” after arriving for a European Council meeting in Brussels, according to public broadcaster TVE.

Expressing grave concern over the situation in Gaza, he said “we are seeing images of suffering and the deaths of Palestinians.”

Sanchez also reaffirmed his support for Guterres.

“I want to express the complete support of the Spanish government and I believe most of Spanish society for our general-secretary of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, who I believe is giving voice to what the majority of the world wants, which is a humanitarian pause in favor of humanitarian aid and for the end of this human disaster,” he said.

The conflict in Gaza began when the Palestinian group Hamas initiated Operation Al-Aqsa Flood — a multi-pronged surprise attack that included a barrage of rocket launches and infiltrations into Israel by land, sea and air.

Hamas said the incursion was in retaliation for the storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque and growing violence by Israeli settlers against Palestinians.

The Israeli military then launched a relentless bombardment of Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip.

More than 7,900 people have been killed in the conflict, including at least 6,546 Palestinians and 1,400 Israelis.

Gaza’s 2.3 million residents have been running out of food, water, medicine and fuel, and aid convoys allowed into Gaza have carried only a fraction of what is needed.

Guterres, who was “shocked by the misinterpretations” of his remarks about Israel at the UN Security Council, reiterated his appeal for an immediate humanitarian cease-fire to “ease suffering, make the delivery of aid easier and safer and facilitate the release of hostages.”