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Spanish foreign minister José Manuel Albares this Tuesday defined the statement his government received from the Israeli embassy in Spain as "unfriendly", but at the same time he considered that the diplomatic conflict has been resolved, after having also disavowed minister Ione Belarra. Specifically, he referred to the affair as a "a one-off incident". The Spanish government's head of diplomacy explained that he conveyed his "annoyance" to the Israeli ambassador to Spain in a telephone conversation, following the statement from Benjamin Netanyahu's country that it considered "immoral" the statements made by some members of the Spanish executive.

On Monday, Israel had condemned the "absolutely immoral" statements "aligning themselves" with the armed group Hamas made by "certain members" of the Spanish government and asked Sánchez to condemn them "unequivocally". In a statement from its embassy in Madrid, Israel stated that it "strongly condemns the recent statements of some members of the Spanish government", although it did not name anyone in particular. Ione Belarra, however, had previously stated that it was necessary to bring Netanyahu before the prosecutors of the International Criminal Court for the occupation and "genocide" perpetrated by the Israeli army in Palestine.

"I speak on behalf of the government of Spain and on behalf of my party, as is appropriate for the position I occupy," asserted Belarra, who as well as a social rights minister is general secretary of left-wing Podemos, junior coalition partner in the acting Spanish government. This Tuesday, however, Albares denied and invalidated the statements of Belarra. "Foreign policy is set by the prime minister and executed by the ministry of foreign affairs", he reiterated on several occasions in the press conference following Tuesday's Spanish cabinet meeting. Asked if this disauthorization of Belarra had also been part of his call with the Israeli ambassador, Albares defended that "there is no need to explain to any country that foreign policy is set by the prime minister".

Press statement from the Israeli embassy in Madrid, October 16th. 

Israel has right to defend itself "respecting international and humanitarian law"

In his speech, Albares reiterated the current position of the Spanish government in relation to this conflict in the Middle East: they condemn "the terrorist attack by the terrorist organization Hamas" on Israel. "We ask for the release of hostages and we regret that there are innocent victims", added the minister, to point out that Israel has every right to defend itself "respecting international and humanitarian law".

"It is necessary to differentiate between terrorist targets and the civilian population", warned Albares; in addition to claiming that humanitarian aid for the Palestinians must be maintained​. "Palestine is a good partner", the minister stated, also asserting that "not a single penny of European cooperation" ends up in the pockets of Hamas. Thus, he stood up for the need to recognize the two states - the Palestinian and the Israeli - in order to achieve peace in the territory.