War in the Middle East. The evolution of the conflict between Israel and Hamas up to the minute

Last Thursday, during a meeting in Jerusalem with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the head of the newly established Spanish government took the opportunity to solidify his position in the European Union (EU) by strongly criticizing the Israeli bombings in the Gaza Strip. .

“The whole world has been shocked by the images we see every day. The number of Palestinians killed is absolutely unbearable,” Sanchez told a gathering that was also attended by Belgian Prime Minister Alexandre de Groove.

Unlike other European leaders who have expressed solidarity with the Israeli leader following Ursula van de Israel’s first visit by European Commission leaders, Sánchez did not hesitate to refer to the “urgent” need to “end the ongoing humanitarian catastrophe”. Leyen and European Parliament President Roberta Metzola days after Hamas attacks and the start of the war in Gaza.

But the head of Spain’s government, which holds the EU’s biennial rotating presidency from July until the end of this year, went further, even as he stressed the need for Israel to “defend itself” after the “atrocities”. In the October 7 attacks, the Islamist movement Palestinian Hamas.

During his trip to the region, and during a stop on Friday at the Egyptian enclave of Rafah, the only open border with the Gaza Strip, Sánchez acknowledged that Spain could unilaterally recognize Palestine unless the rest of its European partners decide on joint intelligence.

“The time has come for the international community, and especially the European Union, to decide on the recognition of the Palestinian state,” he said, as a way of demonstrating that there are different “sensitivities” around the enduring Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the EU. Conflict.

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“It’s important that we do it together. But if that doesn’t happen, Spain will definitely accept its position,” he added, arguing that the cease-fire announced by Israel and Hamas at the time should be “permanent.”

The International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People is celebrated annually on November 29. It aims to raise awareness among the international community about the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination and to reaffirm the commitment and solidarity of the United Nations to this people. This day was implemented in 1977 by UN General Assembly Resolution 32/40B.

Since its admission in November 2012, Palestine has obtained observer status at the United Nations General Assembly. It is currently officially recognized by 139 (72%) of the world body’s 193 member states, while 165 recognize Israel.

In the West, the positions of various countries reveal the prevailing rift. Among the EU countries, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, Slovenia, Spain, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Norway, the Netherlands and Portugal — 19 of the 27 member states — Australia. , Canada, the United States, Japan, the United Kingdom and Israel have yet to officially recognize the State of Palestine.

Spain’s unilateral recognition of Palestine and Pedro Sánchez’s hint after the current Israeli-Palestinian conflict may be decisive in changing the positions of some countries, and pressure from the street does not seem to be abating.

Sánchez’s position has been interpreted as a way to bolster Spain’s international weight, hoping his position will have a “knock-on effect” on the EU, and is more favorable to Israel, while Western countries continue to be heavily criticized by the Arab world.

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In this sense, the head of the Spanish government also defended an international peace summit within six months to find a “firm solution” to the protracted conflict, in this case supported by other EU member states.

However, Sánchez’s previous administration also did not escape criticism from many Arab capitals, accepting Morocco’s position on Western Sahara in March 2022 and deciding to end a serious diplomatic conflict with Rabat, then acting with the Prime Minister’s announcement. Moroccan minister “A new economic partnership in the service of development”.

Israel’s reaction to Sánchez’s proposals on Palestine was immediate, and directed at de Groove, who will succeed him as EU president on January 1.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry summoned the ambassadors of Spain and Belgium on the same day following “false” information released by two European leaders deemed to be “supporting terrorism” by Hamas.

Netanyahu “absolutely” condemned Sanchez and de Groove’s statements, pointing out that neither was too serious in criticizing Hamas for attacks on Israeli civilians or “using” Palestinian civilians as “human shields”.

In Madrid, the Spanish diplomatic chief, José Manuel Álvarez, summoned the Israeli ambassador in Madrid and offered “explanations” for the “unacceptable and false statements” the Israeli government had made to Sánchez and De Crewe.

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