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EU may become complicit in ‘genocide’ – Spanish official

Spain’s Social Rights Minister called on European countries to take concrete measures to stop the hostilities in Gaza

Spanish Social Rights Minister Ione Belarra has urged European leaders to take immediate action against Israel, including severing diplomatic ties and imposing economic sanctions, amid the intensified bombing and expanded ground operations against Hamas militants in the besieged Palestinian enclave.

She also called for Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to be prosecuted for the alleged war crimes committed against civilians in Gaza. 

“After this hellish night in Gaza, I have a very simple but very important message for European leaders. Do not make us complicit in genocide. Act. Not in our name,” Belarra said in a passionate video message on X (formerly Twitter) on Saturday.

More than 8,000 Palestinians, including 3,342 children, have been killed in Gaza since Israel’s air campaign began, according to the latest figures from the Gaza Health Ministry. The unprecedented Hamas raid into Israel, as well as hundreds of rocket strikes on Israeli territory earlier this month, left around 1,400 people dead, while some 230 Israelis and foreigners were taken hostage, according to the Israel Defence Forces.

After this hellish night in Gaza I have a very simple but very important message for European leaders. Do not make us complicit in genocide. Act. Not in our name. pic.twitter.com/6YxdxaLDW9

— Ione Belarra (@ionebelarra) October 28, 2023

Addressing the severity of the current situation in Gaza and Israel’s disproportionate retaliation, the minister highlighted the termination of internet and telephone services in the strip, claiming that the move “has a very clear objective” of guaranteeing that “Israel commits crimes against humanity without consequences.” 

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“Our inaction is turning us into accomplices,” the minister stressed, arguing that “Israel believes that its international alliances guarantee its impunity.”

“We have to act now, tomorrow will be too late,” she continued, voicing her message to the EU leaders: “Cut diplomatic relations with the State of Israel. Carry out exemplary economic sanctions against those responsible for this genocide. And without a doubt, let’s take Netanyahu before the International Criminal Court, so that he can be tried for what he is, a war criminal.” 

She also appealed to EU citizens to take to the streets and raise their voice so that “this genocide” comes to an end.

READ MORE: Israel could be committing war crimes – UN human rights body

The IDF escalated air and ground attack on Gaza on Friday, causing a near-total communication blackout. Connectivity was partially restored over the weekend, but the Israeli blockade of Gaza continues; Netanyahu announced the “second stage” of the war against Hamas on Saturday.

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