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Members of the Spanish Parliament call for the recognition of the Palestinian State

Translated Wednesday 24 December 2014, by D. Phillips

The Members of the Spanish Parliament (Lower Chamber) have almost unanimously adopted a motion calling for the Spanish government to recognize the Palestinian State. A very encouraging sign before a similar vote in the French Parliament on the 28th, in spite of escalating violence in Jerusalem.

This motion was put on the table by the Socialist opposition and was negotiated among the parties. This recognition, according to the text, must be “the result of a negotiation process among the parties which guarantees peace and security for both and the respect for citizens’ rights and regional stability”. It calls on the Spanish government to lead a “coordinated” action with the European Union. This motion was passed almost unanimously by 319 votes in favour, two against and one abstention. Congress is, moreover, dominated by the Right.

With this vote, the Spanish Members of Parliament call on the government “to recognize Palestine as a State and an entity in international law”, while reaffirming that “the only way to solve the conflict (Israeli-Palestinian) is the coexistence of two States: Israel and Palestine". The motion also calls for the government “to open the way to this end by seeking concerted action with the international community taking into full account the legitimate concerns, interests and aspirations of the State of Israel”. Lastly, it calls for Spain to use its seat (non permanent) on the Security Council to promote a fair and lasting solution in the region.

During a press conference in Brussels on Monday, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jose-Manuel Garcia-Margallo, recalled that for a long time Spain has defended the principle of the co-existence of the two States. However, this motion is not binding; he stated further, “it does not fix the delay for recognition and leaves room for the government to proceed with the recognition at the most opportune time.” The initial Socialist motion demanded an immediate recognition, but it was amended by the Right.

Spain is therefore in line with several European countries, notably Switzerland, and Great Britain, whose parliaments have voted in favor of recognizing a Palestinian State. On November 28, the French parliamentarians will also be voting on a similar resolution, calling on the government to officially recognize the State of Palestine. On Monday in the columns of Humanité, several Israelis invited our parliamentarians to say yes, to put pressure on their country’s executives.

These motions were outlined in the agenda prior to the attack carried out on a synagogue in Jerusalem on Tuesday morning by two Palestinians, who killed four Israelis before being shot by police. The escalating violence in Jerusalem makes the adoption of these motions all the more urgent.

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