MADRID: Recognising Palestinian statehood is an “essential” step for achieving peace in the Middle East, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Tuesday, with his government poised to formally take the step alongside Ireland and Norway.

“Recognition of the state of Palestine is not only a matter of historic justice… is it also an essential requirement if we are all to achieve peace,” he said in a brief address before meeting his cabinet, insisting it was “not against anyone, least of all Israel”.

Israel has slammed the announced move as a “reward” for the Palestinian Hamas movement that rules Gaza.

“It is the only way to move towards the solution that we all recognise as the only possible way to achieve a peaceful future: that of a Palestinian state living side-by-side with the state of Israel in peace and security,” said Sanchez.

He insisted that the move also demonstrated Spain’s rejection of Hamas, which does not accept Israel’s right to exist and whose unprecedented attacks on October 7 sparked the Gaza war.

“This decision also reflects our outright rejection of Hamas, which is against the two-state solution,” he said.

Norway, Ireland, Spain say will recognise Palestinian state

Spain, Ireland and Norway on Tuesday will all formally recognise a Palestinian state in a decision slammed by Israel as a “reward” for Hamas, more than seven months into the devastating Gaza war.

The three nations believe their initiative has strong symbolic impact that would likely encourage others to follow suit.

The Gaza war began when Hamas stormed into southern Israel, killing more than 1,170 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli official figures.

Hamas group also took 252 hostages, 121 of whom remain in Gaza – among them 37 the army says are dead.

Israel has hit back with a blistering military offensive that has killed more than 36,000 people in Gaza, also mostly civilians, according to the Hamas-run territory’s health ministry.

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Az_Iz May 28, 2024 04:31pm
It is a very welcome step.
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