Monday, June 24, 2024

EU-Israel relations deteriorate as Spain and Ireland set to recognize Palestine

European Union and Israel Relations Hit Rock Bottom Ahead of Palestinian State Recognition by Ireland and Spain

BRUSSELS — Tensions between the European Union and Israel reached a boiling point on Monday as EU members Ireland and Spain prepared to officially recognize a Palestinian state. The move has sparked a fierce backlash from Israeli officials, with Spain even considering sanctions against Israel for its actions in southern Gaza.

The diplomatic feud intensified as Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz declared that Spain’s consulate in Jerusalem would no longer assist Palestinians, further escalating the conflict. Meanwhile, the EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell voiced support for the International Criminal Court’s efforts to seek an arrest warrant against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Hamas leaders.

Spain, Ireland, and Norway are set to formalize their recognition of a Palestinian state on Tuesday, a significant development for the Palestinian cause. However, Israeli officials denounced the move, with Katz accusing Spain of “rewarding terror” and invoking historical tensions between the two nations.

In response, Spanish Foreign Minister José Manuel Albares condemned Katz’s remarks and defended the recognition of Palestine as a step towards peace. The escalating rhetoric has fueled calls for unity among European nations, with Slovenia also poised to make a decision on recognizing a Palestinian state.

As the conflict escalates, the EU has criticized Israel for its military offensive in Gaza, which has resulted in numerous casualties. The bloc has called on Israel to adhere to international law and cease its actions in Rafah, where recent airstrikes have caused significant devastation.

Despite the mounting tensions, Borrell emphasized the need for unity and dialogue to achieve lasting peace in the region. The recognition of a Palestinian state by multiple European nations marks a significant shift in diplomatic relations and highlights the complexities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

As the situation continues to unfold, the international community closely watches to see how these developments will shape the future of the region.

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