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Pro-Israel crowd rallies in Madrid

  • Story Highlights
  • Pro-Israel crowd rallies in front of Israeli Embassy in Madrid
  • Demo follows pro-Palestian gathering last weekend attended by ruling lawmakers
  • Spain has earmarked euros 6.5M ($8.5M) in humanitarian aid to Gaza
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From CNN Madrid Bureau Chief Al Goodman
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MADRID, Spain (CNN) -- More than 1,000 people rallied Sunday in support of Israel in front of the Israeli Embassy in the Spanish capital.

Spaniards protest Sunday in support of Israel's military action in Gaza.

Spaniards protest Sunday in support of Israel's military action in Gaza.

The rally came a week after a demonstration across town in support of Palestinians in Gaza and sharply critical of Israel's attacks.

Sunday's pro-Israeli demonstration featured the sounding of air raid sirens -- like those heard in southern Israel to warn of incoming Hamas rockets from Gaza -- and a speech by a Madrid official from the ruling Socialist Party, observers said.

Last week's pro-Gaza, anti-Israeli demonstration included two national leaders of the Socialists, prompting a rare statement from the Israeli Embassy criticizing their participation.

But the Socialist government and the Israeli Embassy appeared to have mended fences during the week, issuing conciliatory statements.

Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos visited the Mideast last week, with stops in Syria, Egypt and Israel, where he was received by top officials.

Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero was in Egypt Sunday, attending the meeting in Sharm el-Sheikh organized by Egypt and France.

The pro-Israeli demonstration on Sunday cut traffic on a broad boulevard in front of the Israeli Embassy. Israeli and Spanish flags were waved and one protest banner charged that "Hamas equals terror."

Spain has earmarked 6.5 million euros ($8.5 million) in humanitarian aid to Gaza.

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