Spain's PM meets families of Hamas-held hostages

AFP - [email protected]
Spain's PM meets families of Hamas-held hostages
- Thousands of civilians, both Palestinians and Israelis, have died since October 7, 2023, after Palestinian Hamas militants based in the Gaza Strip entered southern Israel killing 1,200 people and took 240 people hostage, Israel says, in an unprecedented attack triggering a war declared by Israel on Hamas with retaliatory bombings on Gaza. (Photo by Borja Puig de la Bellacasa / LA MONCLOA / AFP) /

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez met Tuesday in Madrid with families of Israeli hostages held in Gaza by Hamas and called for their "immediate and unconditional release".


The Palestinian militant group seized around 250 hostages during an unprecedented attack against Israel on October 7 which resulted in the deaths of about 1,160 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on official Israeli figures.

Israel says 132 of the hostages remain in Gaza including 28 who are believed to have been killed.


Israel responded to the attack with an air and ground offensive that has killed at least 27,585 people in Gaza, mostly women and children, according to the health ministry in the Hamas-run territory.

Eight parents of hostages met Sánchez at his official residence in Madrid, as well as a former captive who was released in November during a truce in the fighting between Israel and Hamas, the prime minister's office said in a statement.

A video released by the office showed Sánchez 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.

Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez talks with relatives of hostages held in Gaza since the October 7th  attacks by Hamas, at La Moncloa Palace in Madrid. (Photo by Borja Puig de la Bellacasa / LA MONCLOA / AFP) 


"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.

Relations between the two countries have soured over Madrid's position.

Israel recalled its top diplomat in Madrid in November after Sánchez 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," Sánchez 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.


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