Spain, Ireland, Norway to make 'firm' response to Israeli rebukes: minister

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Spain, Ireland and Norway will jointly issue a "firm" response to Israel's angry reaction to their decision on Tuesday to recognise a Palestinian state, Spain's top diplomat said.

The plans unveiled last week by the three countries drew a furious response from Israel, which has lashed out, notably online with its Foreign Minister Israel Katz posting several contentious messages on X, the former Twitter.

Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares accused Katz of trying to divert attention from its actions.

"I am well aware that my Israeli colleague has spent days creating provocations, posting vile false allegations on social media about our government and the Irish and Norwegian governments," Albares said.

"I totally get his strategy ... that rather than talking about a Palestinian state, a ceasefire, releasing hostages and access to humanitarian aid, we focus on (Israel's) online posts and provocations."

He said the three governments would issue "a coordinated response... which will be calm but firm."

Israel has denounced the recognition as a "prize" for the Palestinian Islamist Hamas movement whose October 7 attacks sparked the Gaza war. Katz posted one video splicing footage of the violence with flamenco dancing, saying: "Sanchez: Hamas thanks you for your service."

Spain called the post "scandalous and revolting". But on Tuesday, Katz went even further.

"Sanchez, as long as you don't fire your deputy and you recognise a Palestinian state, you are participating in the incitement to commit genocide and war crimes against the Jewish people," he wrote on X.

He was referring to comments last week by Sanchez's far-left deputy Yolanda Diaz who hailed the recognition move, saying: "We cannot stop. Palestine will be free from the river to the sea".

Widely used at pro-Palestinian demonstrations, the slogan refers to the British mandate borders of Palestine, which stretched from the River Jordan to the Mediterranean before Israel was created in 1948.

Israel's ambassador in Madrid denounced the remarks as a "clear call for the elimination of Israel".