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Spain Premier: 'Gaza's humanitarian catastrophe is seriously undermining international law'

June 11, 2024 at 2:59 pm

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announces in parliament that Spain will formally recognize Palestinian statehood on May 28, in Madrid, Spain on May 22, 2024. 
[Burak Akbulut – Anadolu Agency]

The humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza “is seriously undermining international law, the multilateral system, and the rules-based order,” Spain’s Prime Minister said Tuesday, Anadolu Agency reports.

Speaking at the Urgent Humanitarian Response for Gaza conference in Jordan, Pedro Sanchez called on both Israel and Hamas to “act in a responsible manner”.

“Seize the opportunity for peace,” he said, referring to the US ceasefire resolution that, on Monday, won the support of the UN Security Council, which he applauded.

“We must increase the pressure for a ceasefire,” Sanchez added.

In recent weeks, the Spanish government has not only recognised Palestinian statehood but also announced that it will join South Africa’s genocide case against Israel at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

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Speaking on Tuesday, Sanchez defended the decision to join the ICJ case by saying its provisional measures to stop the Rafah offensive and allow unhindered access of international aid are legally binding. However, he said, “it is evident they are not being respected”.

“International law must prevail,” said Sanchez.

He added that the situation in Gaza “is more critical now than ever” and that Spain will support increasing aid flows into the besieged region.

He said that in 2023, Spain tripled its aid to Palestine to €50 million ($53.6 million) and announced an additional €16 million for 2024.

As part of his proposal to effectively get more humanitarian aid to Palestine, he said that development aid should also support the Palestinian Authority and, ultimately, a two-state solution.

“Today, I stand in front of you convinced that our people expect from us that we all collectively advance towards concrete results and actions to stop the suffering in Gaza and build a better future of peace in the Middle East,” he added.

According to Jordan, Egypt, and the UN – the conference organisers – the goal of the high-level meeting is to reach a consensus on practical measures to meet the immediate needs on the ground in Gaza.

Representatives from dozens of nations from around the world are taking part and are set to hold a joint press conference at the end of the day.

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