Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez met Tuesday in Madrid with families of Israeli hostages held in Gaza by Hamas and called for their “immediate and unconditional release,” his office says.
Eight parents of hostages met Sanchez at his official residence in Madrid, as well as a former hostage who was released in November during a truce in the fighting between Israel and Hamas, the prime minister’s office says in a statement.
A video released by the office showed Sanchez and the relatives of the hostages, some of them holding large photos of their family members, sitting around a glass table.
“We demand their immediate and unconditional release. There is no justification for violence,” he wrote on X, formerly Twitter, after the meeting.
“The two-state solution, Israel and Palestine, coexisting in peace and security, is the only way to definitively resolve the conflict,” he added.
Spain, along with Ireland and Belgium, is one of the most critical voices in Europe of Israel’s offensive against Hamas, triggered by the terror group’s October 7 massacre in which thousands of terrorists killed 1,200 people and took 253 hostages to Gaza.
Relations between Israel and Spain have soured over Madrid’s position.
Israel recalled its top diplomat in Madrid in November after Sanchez expressed doubts about the legality of Israel’s war in Gaza. She returned in January.
“Spain is, I believe, on the right side of history,” Sanchez said Monday during an interview with private television La Sexta.
“The right side of history is to respect human rights, to establish a permanent ceasefire, to let in humanitarian aid” into Gaza in the proportion that it is needed, he added.