28 May, 2024 @ 11:40
2 mins read

Spain approves recognition of state of Palestine: Madrid declares Jerusalem as the capital and says 1967 borders should return – but Israel accused PM Pedro Sanchez of ‘inciting genocide’

Ireland and Norway also announced they would recognise the State of Palestine

SPAIN will join 140 member states of the United Nations today by officially recognising a Palestinian state as Israel’s foreign minister claimed Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez is an ‘accomplice in inciting the murder of the Jewish people’. 

Spain, alongside Norway and Ireland, will give formal diplomatic recognition to the Palestinian Authority today, with the office of ‘Palestinian mission’ in Madrid upgraded to an embassy with an ambassador appointed.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced the much-anticipated ‘historic’ decision this morning and said the move had ‘a single objective: to contribute to the achievement of peace between Israelis and Palestinians’.

“Recognising the state of Palestine is not only a matter of historical justice, it is a necessity to achieve peace”, he said during a televised speech from La Moncloa, the seat of the Spanish government. 

Sanchez said that the ‘State of Palestine must be viable with the West Bank and Gaza connected’, using border lines from 1967 with East Jerusalem as Palestine’s capital.

The socialist Prime Minister added that his government would help Palestine to ‘find its adequate place in the international community’ by continuing ‘to support efforts to strengthen Palestine’s presence in international organisations’. 

READ MORE: ‘We harm those who harm us’: Israel threatens Spain after it recognised Palestine as a nation state alongside Ireland and Norway

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said a Palestinian state must be ‘viable’. Credit: Cordon Press

He said: “The recognition of Palestine is not against anyone, least of all Israel, a friendly nation that shares our values and we hold in the highest regard and with whom we aim to foster the strongest possible relationship. Furthermore, this decision reflects our absolute rejection of Hamas, a terrorist organisation that is against the two-state solution”. 

During his speech, Sanchez reiterated calls for a ‘permanent ceasefire, for the entry of humanitarian aid into Gaza, and the immediate release of all the Israeli hostages held by Hamas’. 

Following Sanchez’s announcement, Israel’s foreign minister, Israel Katz, accused the PM of being complicit in ‘inciting the murder of the Jewish people and of promoting war crimes’ in a message on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.

He also criticised Sanchez’s support for Yolando Diaz, the Spanish Vice-President, who described Israel’s actions in Gaza as a ‘real genocide’. 

Diplomatic relations between Israel and Spain have nosedived in recent weeks amid speculation over the formal recognition of a Palestinian state. 

Spain’s foreign minister Jose Manuel Albares said the Spanish government were ‘not going to fall into provocations’ after the Israeli foreign minister posted a video of a Spanish couple dancing interspersed with clips of Hamas’ October 7 attack, which killed some 1,200 people and kickstarted Israel’s military campaign in Gaza.

At a meeting of EU foreign ministers this week, Albares called for sanctions against Israel unless it complied with last week’s International Court of Justice ruling to stop its offensive in Rafah.

Binyamin Netanyahu apologised for a ‘mishap’ after an Israeli missile strike on a Palestinian refugee camp in Rafah killed at least 45 people.

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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