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Recognising Palestinian statehood 'essential for reaching peace': Sanchez

During a speech on Tuesday, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez emphasized the importance of recognition Palestinian statehood in order to achieve peace in the Middle East. His government is currently preparing to join Ireland and Norway in officially recognizing this step.

Published May 28,2024

Recognising Palestinian statehood is an "essential" step for achieving peace in the Middle East, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Tuesday, with his government poised to formally take the step alongside Ireland and Norway.

"Recognition of the state of Palestine... is an essential requirement if we are all to achieve peace," he said.

"It is the only way to move towards the solution that we all recognise as the only possible way to achieve a peaceful future: that of a Palestinian state living side-by-side with the state of Israel in peace and security," said Sanchez.

He insisted that the move also demonstrated Spain's rejection of Hamas, which does not accept Israel's right to exist and whose unprecedented attacks on October 7 sparked the Gaza war.

"This decision also reflects our outright rejection of Hamas, which is against the two-state solution," he said.

Spain, Ireland and Norway on Tuesday will all formally recognise a Palestinian state in a decision slammed by Israel as a "reward" for Hamas, more than seven months into the devastating Gaza war.

The three nations believe their initiative has a strong symbolic impact that would likely encourage others to follow suit.

The Gaza war began when Hamas fighters stormed into southern Israel, killing more than 1,170 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli official figures.

Fighters also took 252 hostages, 121 of whom remain in Gaza -- among them 37 the army says are dead.

Israel has hit back with a blistering military offensive that has killed more than 36,000 people in Gaza, also mostly civilians, according to the territory's health ministry.