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Spain suspends arms exports to Israel; reiterates need for Palestine statehood

February 7, 2024 at 6:36 pm

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, Jose Manuel Albares, at the Marques de Salamanca Palace, in Madrid, Spain on 23 November, 2023 [A. Perez Meca/Europa Press via Getty Images]

Spain has suspended all arms sales and exports to Israel, amid Tel Aviv’s ongoing war on the Gaza Strip and the crimes against humanity that the Occupation is committing.

In an interview with Al Jazeera, Spain’s Foreign Minister, José Manuel Albares, revealed that Madrid has halted all arms exports to Tel Aviv since 7 October last year, when Israeli forces began their bombardment and later invasion of Gaza following an operation launched by Palestinian Resistance group, Hamas, into Israeli-held territory.

The events of that month and beyond “made us realise the importance of a just and permanent solution to the question of the Palestinian people”, the Spanish Foreign Minister said. Highlighting the fact that Israel has since bombed numerous UN facilities, schools and hospitals in the besieged Strip, he urged all parties to comply with the orders of the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

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Spain is unwilling to see the violence in the region escalate, Albares stated, emphasising that Madrid demands a permanent and immediate ceasefire in Gaza, particularly at the current juncture in which at least more than 27,000 Palestinians have been killed.

Praising Qatar’s leading role in mediation efforts to reach a ceasefire deal for Gaza, he also stressed that Spain wants a viable Palestinian State that co-exists alongside Israel, reiterating Madrid’s proposal for an international peace conference based on the concept of the two-state solution.

Spain’s decision is the latest and most significant move amongst the international community to restrict arms sales and exports to Israel, particularly following the ICJ’s ruling last month on Israel’s possible committing of genocide against Palestinians in Gaza.

Belgium’s Wallonia regional government has also suspended licenses to export munitions – specifically gunpowder – to Israel, and the Japanese Itochu Corporation’s aviation unit recently announced its decision to end cooperation with Israeli defence contractor company, Elbit Systems Ltd.

READ: Spain proposes international peace conference to find 2-state solution between Israel, Palestine