14 Feb, 2024 @ 17:04
1 min read

Spain and Ireland demand Brussels investigate Israel for potential human rights abuses in Gaza

THE leaders of Spain and Ireland have asked the European Commission to urgently review whether Israel is complying with its human rights obligations in Gaza.

The joint call from Pedro Sanchez and Leo Varadkar comes as pressure grows on Israel to hold off on an assault on the densely-populated southern border city of Rafah.

Sanchez and Varadkar- along with Belgium’s Alexander de Croo- have been the EU’s most outspoken leaders about Israeli operations in Gaza since the five-month conflict began.

They said attacking Rafah posed ‘a grave and imminent threat that the international community must urgently confront’.

RAFAH DEVASTATION(Cordon Press image)

“We also remember the horror of Oct. 7, and call for the release of all hostages and an immediate ceasefire that can facilitate access for urgently needed humanitarian supplies,” the two prime ministers said in a joint letter published on the Spanish government website.

A Spanish government source said it was confident that European countries are unifying around a firmer position and for the European Commission to take more concrete action over Israel’s actions in Gaza.

The source referred to a social media comment on Tuesday by Alexander De Croo, who said a ramped-up assault could generate an ‘unmitigated humanitarian catastrophe’.

While only Spain and Ireland signed the letter to the European Commission, the source added it expected further backing for a review of the agreement when ministers meet for a Council of Europe gathering in March.

The EU Commission confirmed receipt of the letter.

An EU spokesperson said: “We do urge all sides when it comes to Israel to respect international law and we note that there must be respect, there must be accountability for violations of international law.”

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Alex Trelinski

Alex worked for 30 years for the BBC as a presenter, producer and manager. He covered a variety of areas specialising in sport, news and politics. After moving to the Costa Blanca over a decade ago, he edited a newspaper for 5 years and worked on local radio.

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