Disproportionate Israeli Gaza attacks a world threat says Spain Sanchez

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The prime minister advocates for the recognition of a Palestinian state, claiming that such a ‘fair’ step would benefit the European Union.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has described Israel’s “disproportionate response” in its war on Gaza as a regional and global threat, and he believes that recognizing a Palestinian state is in Europe’s “geopolitical interests”.

“The international community cannot help the Palestinian state unless it recognises its existence,” he told members of parliament on Wednesday, adding that such a move was “just” and “what the social majority demanded.”

Sanchez has long advocated for the European Union to recognize Palestine, but the Israeli government and its primary backers have consistently opposed this.

Late last month, he signed a joint statement with his Irish, Maltese, and Slovenian counterparts announcing that they were willing “to recognise Palestine” if it helped bring an end to more than six months of war in Gaza, during which Israeli attacks killed at least 33,360 people, according to Palestinian health officials.

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Sanchez is scheduled to meet with several other leaders, including those of Norway and Portugal, in the coming days to discuss the matter, Spanish government spokeswoman Pilar Alegria said on Tuesday.

During a visit to Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar last week, the prime minister stated that Spain may recognize Palestine as a nation by the end of June.

“The international community as a whole must recognise Palestine’s full membership in the UN system,” Sanchez told Al Jazeera during his visit to Qatar.

“And, of course, bilaterally in the case of Spain, we are ready to support and recognise the State of Palestine because this momentum has to be different from the others that we witnessed over the past seven decades.”

Last Monday, the Palestinian Authority (PA) formally requested that the United Nations Security Council review its 2011 candidacy for full membership in the international body.

The Palestinian Authority is presently a non-member observer state at the United Nations, sharing the same status as the Vatican. The council is likely to strike an agreement this month.

The United States, a veto-wielding member of the Security Council and Israel’s close ally, maintained that establishing an independent Palestinian state should be done through direct negotiations between the parties rather than at the UN.

Sanchez has also been a vocal supporter of a permanent ceasefire in Gaza, the entry of humanitarian aid into the besieged territory, and the release of captives held by Hamas and other armed groups during the October 7 attacks inside Israel, which killed 1,139 people, according to an Al Jazeera tally based on Israeli statistics.

Sanchez stated on Wednesday that Israel’s “absolutely disproportionate response” to the Hamas-led attack had “overturned decades of humanitarian law and threatened to destabilise the Middle East and, as a result, the entire world.”

Separately, Irish Foreign Minister Michael Martin stated on Tuesday that the government plans to recognise a Palestinian state in the coming weeks.

“Delaying recognition is no longer credible or tenable,” he stated.

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