UPDATE 2 - Spain recognizes ‘viable’ Palestinian state with 1967 borders

UPDATE 2 - Spain recognizes ‘viable’ Palestinian state with 1967 borders

Spanish prime minister says Gaza, West Bank should be connected and capital should be in East Jerusalem

UPDATES WITH OFFICIAL RECONGITION OF PALESTINE, ADDS COMMENTS FROM SPANISH FOREIGN MINISTER, DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER, ISRAELI REACTION, REVISES HEADLINE, LEDE

By Alyssa McMurtry

OVIEDO, Spain (AA) - The Spanish government approved on Tuesday a measure to formally recognize Palestinian statehood.

“This is a historic decision that has a single goal — to contribute to achieving peace between Israelis and Palestinians,” said Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez in a speech earlier in the day.

"We recognized Palestine because it's the time to do so. We can't wait any longer," said Spain's Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares, announcing the government's decision.

"We've seen decades of violence, pain and destruction; decades of talking about peace. Now is the time to turn it into reality," he added.

Sanchez noted that Spain will recognize the Palestinian state based on 1967 borders, only recognizing changes that have been agreed upon by both parties.

“Although it’s not up to Spain to define the borders of other nations, our position is aligned with the resolutions of the UN Security Council, … and with the position traditionally held by the European Union,” he said.

Sanchez explained that the Palestinian state should be “viable” with the West Bank and Gaza connected with a corridor and East Jerusalem as its capital.


- Unified Palestinian state

Spain will also recognize a unified Palestinian state governed by the Palestinian Authority, which Sanchez called "our partner for peace."

The move to recognize Palestine is not against Israel, but “shows our direct rejection of Hamas — which is against the two-state solution,” the prime minister stressed.

On Tuesday, Norway and Ireland are also recognizing Palestinian statehood. On Thursday, Slovenia is set to do the same, Albares said.

With these countries recognizing Palestine, 147 countries will have formally recognized the nation's statehood. There are 193 UN member states.

"And I do not doubt that more countries will continue to join us," said Albares.

“Today’s decision is based on international law and respect for the rules-based order — principles that guide us no matter what the context,” said Sanchez.

The Spanish leader added that from tomorrow, his focus will be on pushing for a viable two-state solution to bring lasting peace to the region.

To achieve a lasting two-state solution, Sanchez said the top priority is "putting an end to the crisis in Gaza," which includes achieving a permanent cease-fire, unhindered access to humanitarian aid to Gaza, and the release of all Israeli hostages.

Spain will also channel its energy into supporting the reforms of the Palestinian Authority. "It will need all our support," said Sanchez.

Finally, he said Spain will "continue to foster cooperation with partners committed to peace and prosperity in the region" to convene an international peace conference that will "implement" the two-state solution.

"With today's decision, we assume our responsibility in the search for peace, security, and prosperity of all people," the prime minister added.


- Call for breaking diplomatic ties with Israel

However, some members of the Spanish government say Madrid is not going far enough on the issue.

Spain's Deputy Prime Minister Yolanda Diaz, who leads the far-left junior coalition party Sumar, applauded the move to recognize Palestine but said Spain should also break diplomatic relations with Israel.

Speaking to public broadcaster RTVE, she said Israel's government is "committing a genocide," "violating all international and human rights law," adding "something must be done" to stop them.

On Tuesday, Israel's Foreign Minister Israel Katz compared Diaz to the leaders of Hamas and Iran, posting on X that she is calling for the "elimination of Israel," even though she has insisted that she believes in a two-state solution.

Because Sanchez has not fired Diaz and for recognizing the Palestinian state, Katz called Prime Minister Sanchez "complicit in incitement to the murder of the Jewish people and war crimes."

When asked how he would respond to Israel's recent diplomatic attacks against Spain, Albares told journalists on Tuesday that Spain will deliver a "coordinated, serene and firm response," alongside Norway and Ireland.

"No one will intimidate us or stop us from supporting international law, justice, and the deep feeling we have for the Palestinian and Israeli people," he said. "Our foreign policy is not made by tweets and we do not overreact when others try to make us do so with provocations."

UPDATE 2 - Spain recognizes ‘viable’ Palestinian state with 1967 borders

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