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Relations between Spain, Israel strained

July 21, 2006 at 12:51 AM

MADRID, July 20 (UPI) -- Relations between Spain and Israel were strained when Spain's prime minister criticized Israel for using "abusive force in Lebanon, El Pais reported Thursday.

Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero's remarks Wednesday prompted the Israeli ambassador to Spain, Victor Harel, to note that the nation's relations were not as strong as they once were.

Zapatero made his comments at a socialist student rally during which he was photographed wearing a traditional Palestinian scarf.

The photo made the pages of several Spanish newspapers Thursday.

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