Spanish Prime Minister slammed for Lebanon remarks

July 20, 2006 15:40


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The Israeli ambassador to Madrid criticized Spanish officials Thursday for calling the Israeli offensive in Lebanon disproportionate. Victor Harel said Israel was simply defending itself from Hezbollah guerrillas and that the criticism from the prime minister and foreign minister was "very harsh and very unfair." Speaking at a rally Wednesday, Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero criticized the Hezbollah kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers which triggered the current fighting. But he added "we must also demand that no one defend themselves with abusive force that does not allow innocent human beings to defend themselves." After the rally, someone placed a Palestinian-style scarf around Zapatero's neck and the prime minister allowed himself to be photographed wearing it. Harel declined to comment on this. "Everyone can draw their own conclusion," he said after a breakfast with business leaders and politicians.

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