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Situation in Gaza 'catastrophic, dramatic, tragic' - Spain

February 26, 2024 at 1:25 pm

Spain’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Jose Manuel Albares speaks during a press conference at UN Headquarters in New York City on February 23, 2024. [YUKI IWAMURA/AFP via Getty Images]

Reiterating the call for an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, the Spanish Foreign Minister on Monday said that the situation in Gaza is “catastrophic, dramatic, tragic”, Anadolu Agency reports.

“At the European and multilateral level, we have presented specific proposals to make headway in the two large crises that we’re experiencing … in which we see unacceptable violations of human rights in both of them, in Ukraine and in Gaza,” Jose Manuel Albares told the Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Expressing his country’s stance, he noted that Spain is committed to peace in the Middle East, peace among Israelis and Palestinians.

“Let us be clear about this, the situation in Gaza is catastrophic, it is dramatic, tragic,” said Albares.

He said they call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and will continue to support the UN Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) and its indispensable work.

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Several countries suspended their funding to UNRWA last month following Israeli accusations that 12 of the Agency’s thousands of employees took part in the 7 October Hamas attack on Israel. The Agency is investigating the claims, but has warned cutting off funding risks a catastrophe.

Albares reminded that Spain has already announced €3.5 million (nearly $3.8 million) increase, adding that they are willing to contribute to re-launching a political process that is based on a two-state solution

The Palestinians hope to establish an independent State of their own in the Gaza Strip and West Bank, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Netanyahu has been adamant in his opposition to a two-state solution, despite the international community advocating it as the only viable path forward.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice. An interim ruling in January ordered Tel Aviv to stop genocidal acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.

Israel launched a deadly offensive on the Gaza Strip following a Hamas attack on 7 October. The ensuing Israeli bombardment has killed over 29,700 people and injured over 70,000 with mass destruction and shortages of necessities.

The Israeli war on Gaza has pushed 85 per cent of the Territory’s population into internal displacement amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine, while 60 per cent of the enclave’s infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

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