Spain will boost aid to Palestine, Acting Foreign Affairs Minister Jose Manuel Albares announced Wednesday.
Albares said besides arguing for humanitarian aid and cooperation for Palestine to remain at the European level, Madrid is stepping up its support.
He said Spain had budgeted €8 million ($8.5 million) in direct support for Palestinians this year, but the country has approved a “first package of” another €1 million in humanitarian aid “because we believe it is needed at this time,” he told Spanish broadcaster La Sexta.
But Thursday, Fluer Hassan-Nahoum, vice-mayor of Jerusalem, told La Sexta that Spanish and EU funds were not contributing to peace in the region.
“You are funding an education system that teaches students to hate and kill,” she said.
Albares disagreed, saying that was debated at the EU level and that after a thorough review last year, all member states agreed that the money was going where they wanted it.
“I would never allow that a single penny of money from Spain or the EU to go towards anything other than helping the Palestinian people, let alone collaborating with Hamas, which is on the EU’s list of terrorist organizations,” he said.
Albares firmly condemned the weekend’s “terrorist attack by Hamas” against Israel.
He urged Israel to follow international law in its response, which includes not targeting civilians.
Spain’s foreign minister announced Wednesday that one of two Spaniards who had gone missing after Saturday’s attack on Israel has been confirmed dead. She was a 19-year-old from Seville with dual citizenship and serving with the Israeli military.
Spain has also started rescue missions, successfully evacuating more than 200 people Tuesday from Israel after commercial flights were canceled.