The Spanish city of Valencia last week passed a motion on the city council to boycott Israel and declare the city an “Israeli apartheid-free zone”.

The motion was presented by a local faction of the leftist party Podemos, which has long called for a boycott of Israel.

The party’s leader, Pablo Iglesias Turrión, said in an interview last week that Israel was a “criminal country”.

“We need to act more firmly on an illegal country like Israel,” Turrión said on RTVE.

Spanish pro-Israel group ACOM said it has started legal proceedings against Valencia following the vote.

The lobby group said it has successfully managed to annul or suspend 24 similar motions by Spanish municipalities to boycott Israel.

Last week, Podemos and the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party – Spain’s second largest – passed a no-confidence vote that toppled the centre-right government over corruption charges.

Podemos won 20 percent of the vote in the 2015 general election, just a year after its creation.

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