Spanish pol who on Oct. 7 said Palestinians have ‘right to resist’ made a minister

United Left’s Sira Rego named minister of children and youth, after accusing Jewish state of ‘exterminating a people for 75 years’ in response to Israeli criticism

Spain's Rego Sira delivers a speech at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, eastern France, July 3, 2019. (AP Photo/Jean-Francois Badias)
Spain's Rego Sira delivers a speech at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, eastern France, July 3, 2019. (AP Photo/Jean-Francois Badias)

JTA — A Spanish politician who said that Palestinians have “the right to resist after decades of occupation” on October 7, when Hamas terrorists killed some 1,200 people in southern Israel and took at least 240 hostages, was named Spain’s minister of children and youth on Monday.

Sira Rego, who has been a member of the European Parliament since 2019, has a Palestinian father who lives in the West Bank. On X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, she has since October 7 mostly posted and reposted content from others on the Israel-Hamas war, including graphic videos from the aftermath of bombings.

When Israel’s embassy in Madrid published a statement on October 16 criticizing “some members of the Spanish government” for their comments on the war, Rego wrote: “Nobody here has defended Hamas. You have been exterminating a people for 75 years.” She also reposted tweets that said the “entire Israeli diplomatic delegation must be expelled from the Spanish State” and called Israel “undemocratic and corrupt.”

Rego, 50, is a member of the left-wing United Left party, and her cabinet position is new. Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has been locked in months of negotiations with various parties to form a governing parliamentary coalition, which will likely include multiple left-wing parties and, controversially, separatist Catalan factions.

Ione Belarra, former acting social rights minister who last month had called to “urgently suspend diplomatic relations with the State of Israel,” lost her post on Monday. Jose Manuel Albares, who called Israel’s October 16 statement an “unfriendly gesture,” retained his position.

Multiple Spanish synagogues have been hit with graffiti tied to the Israel-Hamas conflict. Madrid’s main synagogue in the heart of the Chamberí district was defaced with graffiti that read “Free Palestine” next to a crossed-out Star of David the day after the October 7 attacks.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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