9 May, 2024 @ 13:03
1 min read

Spain, Ireland and some other EU members plan to recognise Palestine as a sovereign state on May 21

PM Sanchez has been a vocal critic on the Israeli-Hamas war
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez speaks to the media outside the Government Buildings, Dublin, following his meeting with Taoiseach Simon Harris. Picture date: Friday April 12, 2024.

SPAIN, alongside Ireland and a number of other EU member states, is planning to formally recognise the State of Palestine on May 21 amid the conflict in the Middle East, according to reports. 

Irish broadcaster RTE News claims the date is one of a number of options that Spanish, Irish, Slovenian and Maltese officials are looking at for the simultaneous recognition of Palestinian statehood.

On March 22, the four countries released a statement confirming they had discussed their ‘readiness to recognise Palestine and said that we would do so when it can make a positive contribution and the circumstances are right’.

Currently, eight members of the European Union recognise the State of Palestine.

Spain’s Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, spoke to Irish Taoiseach Simon Harris on the phone on Monday where the pair discussed the ‘grave situation in the Middle East’ and the symbolic and practical importance of recognising a Palestinian state ‘soon’. 

A spokesperson said: “On recognition, our work continues together on recognising the State of Palestine. They reaffirmed the wish for both Spain and Ireland to recognise Palestine, agreeing that formal recognition is an important part of acknowledging that a two-state solution is the only way to bring about peace and stability in the region, with a State of Palestine and State of Israel living side-by-side in peace and security”.

READ MORE: Madrid students join a growing number of protest camps across Spain calling for an end to the conflict in Gaza

Students camp at the Complutense University in Madrid
Students across Spain have set up camps at university campuses in support of Palestine.

PM Sanchez, who leads the left-wing PSOE Socialist party, has been one of the most outspoken critics of Israel’s actions in Gaza in the wake of the October 7 Hamas attacks.

While he has condemned Hamas’ ‘shocking acts of terrorism’, Sanchez is said to have angered Benjamin Netanyahu’s Israeli government by calling the number of dead Palestinian civilians ‘truly unbearable’, saying that Israel’s response must not include ‘the deaths of innocent civilians, including thousands of children’, and raising ‘genuine doubts’ about whether Israel’s offensive in Gaza is compliant with international humanitarian law.

According to local health authorities, over 30,000 Palestinians have been killed since the start of the Israeli ground operation. 

Sanchez’s disillusionment with Israel increased after the death of seven World Central Kitchen aid workers who were killed in Gaza in April by an Israeli strike, with the PM labelling Israel’s explanations as ‘totally unacceptable and insufficient’.

World Central Kitchen, an NGO that provides food relief, was set up in 2010 by the Spanish chef Jose Andres

Ben Pawlowski

Ben joined the Olive Press in January 2024 after a four-month stint teaching English in Paraguay. He loves the adrenaline rush of a breaking news story and the tireless work required to uncover an eye-opening exclusive. He is currently based in Barcelona from where he covers the city, the wider Catalunya region, and the north of Spain. Send tips to [email protected]

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