Spain’s Sanchez to visit Israel, Palestine in 1st trip after reelection

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez will visit Israel and Palestine in the first international trip since his reelection, the government announced on Monday.

On Thursday, he will meet with Israeli President Isaac Herzog and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

This will be the first time Sanchez will travel to the nations since the conflict between Israel and Palestine intensified in early October.

During the investiture debate, Sanchez announced that one of his main priorities would be Spain’s recognition of the State of Palestine, and vowed to advocate for the same stance at a European level.

On Monday, 900 Spanish medical professionals signed a petition calling on Spain and the EU to stop collaborating with Israel and call for an immediate ceasefire.

Within Spain’s past government, Cabinet members like Ione Belarra called for Spain to completely cut diplomatic ties with Israel and sanction its leaders.

With the country’s new Cabinet announced on Monday,
it emerged that Belarra will not hold onto her ministerial position, which former Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias criticized, insinuating the move was linked to her position on Palestine.

However, Sira Rego, Spain’s new youth minister, was partially raised in Palestine, and her father and brother still live in the West Bank, according to Spanish daily El Diario. She has joined pro-Palestine protests and has been highly critical of the Israeli attacks.

The Israeli conflict has sparked tension within European states, with Spain and Ireland calling for a cease-fire and other nations like Germany more supportive of Israel’s moves.

Sanchez will be traveling to Israel alongside his Belgian counterpart Alexander De Croo, who has recently slammed Israel’s strikes on civilian populations.

‘Bombing an entire refugee camp with the intention of taking out one terrorist, I don’t think you can say that is proportional,’ De Croo said earlier this month. ‘And also unbridled violence in the West Bank, you have to be careful

Spain still holds the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union and has advocated for the EU to host a peace summit.

Traditionally, the first international visit of a newly elected Spanish prime minister is to Morocco.?

Sanchez was reelected as Spain’s prime minister last Thursday.

Source: EN – Anadolu Agency