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Tuesday, June 18, 2024


    Spain, Ireland, and Norway condemn Rafah attack and call for a two-state solution.

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    Israel’s Sunday strike on Rafah, which killed at least 35 Palestinians, heightened tensions, with Spain, Ireland, and Norway confirming their decision to recognize Palestine.

    The bombardment on Sunday was extensively denounced by the foreign ministers of three European nations, emphasising the importance of a durable cease-fire and a two-state solution.

    During a joint news conference in Brussels, Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide stressed the “binding” character of the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) verdict ordering Israel to cease its offensive in Rafah.

    He emphasized that extending the conflict in Rafah is “a breach of international law,” emphasizing the need to adhere to the ICJ’s “compulsory” measures.

    “So it’s a big problem for all of us because the image produced is that these rules don’t apply to everyone, and many individuals will argue that they don’t apply to anybody. So, I believe this is also standing up for the ideas that we have agreed upon throughout the world. Remember that the International Court of Justice is a court for everyone.

    According to the Norwegian minister, the discussions that led up to this decision included “a meeting between donors to the Palestinian Authority and the new Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Mustafa,” who has been working to improve “service delivery and governance,” including the integration of Gaza into a more structured Palestinian administration.

    Eide also reported that they convened a meeting with Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister, Prince Faisal, to discuss “a regional peace plan” that included “normalization between Saudi Arabia and other Arab states.”

    “That is the environment in which Spain, Ireland, and Norway decided to recognize. We encourage other nations to do the same. We know that a lot of European nations are either planning to do so or are considering it, and we hope they will follow suit,” he said.

    Irish Foreign Minister Micheal Martin criticized the bombing on Rafah, calling the humanitarian crisis in Gaza “barbaric” and demanding Israel to halt military operations immediately.

    He advocated for the “unconditional release of hostages” and a considerable increase of “humanitarian aid to Gaza,” emphasizing the need of “multilateralism” and the “independence” of international legal organizations.

    “So we’re not going to be in any way sort of diverted away from the core objective of our decision to recognize the state of Palestine,” Martin said.

    Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares shared these comments, denouncing Israel’s recent measures against European ambassadors for lacking “diplomatic courtesy”.

    He reiterated the necessity for a rapid “cease-fire” and emphasized the need of following “international law.”

    “Yesterday’s bombing marks another day in which innocent Palestinian citizens were slain. This emphasizes what we’ve been calling the three of us, our three nations, for a long time: an urgent cease-fire. But the seriousness is considerably greater since it follows a decision made by the International Court of Justice, which, as I previously stated, is obligatory and compulsory for all parties.”

    Albares further stated that if Israel continues to ignore the ICJ’s verdict, he intends to garner support from other EU members and pursue enforcement action.

    Spain, Ireland, and Norway’s simultaneous recognition of the state of Palestine is viewed as a crucial step in reviving Middle East peace efforts.

    The ministers underscored that this measure is intended to promote moderate, nonviolent movements and halt the cycle of violence, creating a future in which Palestinian and Israeli governments may coexist peacefully.

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