Foreign Affairs confirms the death of Maya Villalobo, the young Spanish-Israeli woman who disappeared in Israel | International
Her family lost contact with her on October 7 at 9:30 in the morning, as explained in the statement. Maya was performing her military service—mandatory in Israel—at the Nahal Oz base, one of those attacked by the Hamas militia, as seen in the images released by the Israeli Government. Her father sent a warning message that same Saturday through his account on the social network X: “My daughter is missing, the phones don't work.” Shortly after, she deleted the publication and reported that she was already in contact with the Spanish Embassy in Tel Aviv.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, José Manuel Albares, spoke this morning with Maya's father, Eduardo Villalobo, to whom he offered condolences on behalf of the Government. “Maya is a very happy young woman, with a huge heart, in love with Spain, who knows how to receive and return the love of all the people who love her.” This is how her Sevillian family described the young woman in a statement sent to the Seville Press Association last Monday, when Foreign Affairs confirmed that Maya Villolobo was among the missing Spaniards.
Maya lived in Israel, but every summer she returned to Seville, where she spent long periods of time. On her social networks, the young woman had posted photos of relaxing moments with her companions during her military service in Nahal Oz. She could also be seen enjoying the city of Seville in the company of friends or walking with her father.
The other Spaniard affected by the attack is Iván Illarramendi, 46 years old, a native of Zarautz (Gipuzkoa), who lived in the Kisufim kibbutz (agricultural cooperative), next to the Gaza border, with his wife. They both had to go into a bunker when they realized that Hamas militiamen were entering their house. At the time of the incident, the couple called their parents, but their home was empty when the police arrived. There was also no sign of a struggle, so the main suspicion in his case is that it was a kidnapping.
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Minister Albares declared him “missing” today and has assured that his department is in contact with his family and the Israeli authorities, but did not want to give any details for security reasons. “The Spanish Government once again reiterates its strongest condemnation of the Hamas terrorist attack on Israel and expresses its deepest regret and all its condolences to the family and relatives for the death of Maya Villalobo Sinvany,” the Foreign Affairs statement concludes.
Investigation at the National Court
At the same time, María Tardón, judge of the National Court, has opened a case to investigate the death and disappearance of the Spaniards. The judge made this decision after receiving a police report that warned of the existence of at least three possible victims linked to Spain. According to court sources, the investigations focus on Maya Villalobo, Iván Illarramendi and his wife.
Tardón has opened his investigation for terrorism crimes. As the court explained in a statement, the judge assumes jurisdiction "as there are victims with Spanish nationality" and, in the case of Illarramendi's wife, as she is "a first-degree relative." Despite the cuts made to universal justice in recent decades, Spanish legislation allows investigation of terrorism crimes when “the victim had Spanish nationality at the time” of the events.
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