Spain ‘deeply worried’ over Palestinian deaths by Israel
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Spain ‘deeply worried’ over Palestinian deaths by Israel

Foreign ministry also slams ‘terror attacks’ on settlers; pro-Israel lobby accuses Madrid of equivalence between aggressor and victim

Supporters hold signs reading 'Together with Israel' at a rally called by the Federation of Jewish Communities in Spain (FCJE) and the Jewish Community of Madrid, in front of the Israeli embassy in Madrid on October 18, 2015. (AFP PHOTO/PEDRO ARMESTRE)
Supporters hold signs reading 'Together with Israel' at a rally called by the Federation of Jewish Communities in Spain (FCJE) and the Jewish Community of Madrid, in front of the Israeli embassy in Madrid on October 18, 2015. (AFP PHOTO/PEDRO ARMESTRE)

Spain’s government this week expressed “deep concern at the loss of many dozens of lives” of Palestinians as a result of Israel’s “use of force” in response to attacks against its citizens.

The statement Tuesday by the Spanish foreign ministry also said that Palestinian murders of Jewish settlers in the West Bank and Palestinian attacks on other Israelis are “terrorist attacks” and “hate crimes.”

However, pro-Israel activists lambasted the ministry for the statement, which the ACOM lobby group condemned Thursday as “infamous” and creating a false moral equivalence between aggressor and victim.

The Spanish ministry’s statement was in reaction to the killing of Dafna Meir, a mother of six, on Jan. 17 at her home in the West Bank settlement of Otniel, and two other attacks that occurred thereafter in settlements, the statement said.

Dafna Meir, seen in an undated photo, was killed in an attack in her Otniel home on January 17, 2016. (screen capture: Channel 2)
Dafna Meir, seen in an undated photo, was killed in an attack in her Otniel home on January 17, 2016. (screen capture: Channel 2)

But, in addition to condemning those attacks, the statement read: “The government is also deeply worried about the loss of many dozens of human lives among the Palestinian population as a consequence of the use of force by agents of Israeli authorities in reaction to the attacks and calls on all parties to abandon all acts of violence or instigation thereof, as those can exacerbate the situation.”

The statement added: “It is necessary to break this cycle of violence.”

But to ACOM, the statement suggests that the ministry “explains that the Palestinians kill as a logical result of the use of force” by Israelis, noting that many of the Palestinians killed in recent weeks were shot while trying to kill Israelis.

“The ministry apparently considers attacks against Jewish girls in supermarkets and others comparable to shooting the terrorists that perpetrate them,” the organization wrote in a statement Thursday.

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon of justifying Palestinian terrorism for saying that, “As oppressed peoples have demonstrated throughout the ages, it is human nature to react to occupation, which often serves as a potent incubator of hate and extremism.”

Ban later vehemently rejected the accusation, and doubled down on his remarks.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report

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