Spain has threatened to take an individual decision to recognise Palestine as an independent state if the European Union (EU) does not take this step.
This came during a press conference held by Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez at the Rafah border crossing on Friday, November 24. Sanchez said, “It is time for the international community and the EU to recognize the Palestinian state. It is a valuable and important matter. We must do that with the EU,” Anadolu Agency (AA) reported.
He added, “But if the EU does not recognize the Palestinian state, Spain will do so and make its own decision.”
Sanchez is on a tour of Israel, Palestine and Egypt with Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo to discuss the ongoing Israeli attacks on Gaza Strip.
Croo urged Israel to stop killing civilians in Gaza Strip, stating a four-day ceasefire is insufficient and urging a permanent cessation of hostilities.
Both the leaders called for the protection of the civilian population in Gaza and for Israel to respect international humanitarian law.
Israel summons Spanish, Belgian ambassadors
The Israeli Foreign Ministry summoned the Spanish and Belgian ambassadors over the comments made during the press conference.
In a statement on X, Cohen said, “We condemn the false claims of the Prime Ministers of Spain and Belgium who are giving support to terrorism and as a result of their words their ambassadors will be invited to a harsh rebuke conversation.”
“Israel is acting according to international law and fighting a murderous terrorist organization worse than ISIS that commits war crimes and crimes against humanity,” he added.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “I strongly condemn the statements of the prime ministers of Belgium and Spain regarding not holding Hamas responsible for the crimes it commits.”
Barcelona suspends relations with Israel
The city council of Barcelona has decided to suspend institutional relations with “Israel” until a definitive ceasefire in Gaza and the assurance of basic rights for Palestinians.
This is is not the first time that Barcelona has severed its relations with Israel. In February this year, then-Mayor Ada Colau suspended the city’s relationship with Israel.
The Friday’s declaration, presented by Colau’s Barcelona En Comun party, is supported by Collboni’s Socialist Party and the left-wing separatist party, ERC.
The declaration condemns Hamas and Israel’s attacks on civilians, collective punishment, forced displacement, destruction of homes, infrastructure, and blockade of essential supplies in Gaza Strip.
Barcelona’s approved statement identifies the primary obstacles to lasting peace as the occupation and colonization of Palestinian Territories and the denial of human rights.