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Europe-Israel ties dip overตรวจหวย 16 8 65 recognition to Palestine

sts | ตรวจหวย 16 8 65 | Updated: 2024-06-13 11:40:13

Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares, Norway's Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide and Ireland's Foreign Minister Micheal Martin gesture after a press conference in Brussels, Belgium May 27, 2024. [Photo/Agencies]

BRUSSELS — Relations between Europe and Israel took a nosedive on the eve of diplomatic recognition of a Palestinian state by Ireland, Spain and Norway.

Even though the European Union has been steadfast in condemning the Oct 7 Hamas attack in Israel, the bloc has been equally critical of Israel's ensuing offensive, The Associated Press reported.

The EU's foreign policy chief Josep Borrell threw his full weight to support the International Criminal Court, whose prosecutor is seeking an arrest warrant against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and others, including the leaders of Hamas.

"The prosecutor of the court has been strongly intimidated and accused of antisemitism," Borrell said. "The word antisemitic, it's too heavy. It's too important."

Angry words abounded on Monday, with Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz accusing Spain of "rewarding terror" by recognizing a Palestinian state, and saying that "the days of the Inquisition are over".

Spain's foreign minister condemned a "scandalous and execrable" video posted by his Israeli counterpart suggesting that Hamas would be grateful to Spain.

Katz posted a short video on X on Sunday, with the label "Hamas: Gracias Espana", or "Hamas: Thanks Spain".

The video shows the Spanish flag and then a couple dancing to flamenco music. Footage of Hamas fighters is interspersed in the video, including people fleeing during the Oct 7 Hamas attack on southern Israel.

"We are not going to fall into provocations. The video is scandalous and execrable," Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares told a news conference in Brussels. "It's scandalous because all the world knows, including my colleague in Israel, that Spain condemned the actions of Hamas from the first moment. And execrable for the use of one of those symbols of Spanish culture."

Spanish Defense Minister Margarita Robles said on Saturday that the conflict in Gaza is a "real genocide", echoing a comment by Spanish Deputy Prime Minister Yolanda Diaz who last week also described the conflict as a genocide.

The Israeli embassy in Madrid "regrets" Robles' comments in a statement posted on Saturday on X.

Spain, along with Ireland and Norway, declared last week it would recognize a Palestinian state on May 28.Israel said this amounted to a "reward for terrorism" and recalled its ambassadors from the three countries.

Attacks urged to stop

The United Nations' top court, the International Court of Justice, on Friday demanded that Israel immediately halt its offensive on Rafah, even if it stopped short of ordering a cease-fire for the Gaza enclave.

Israel has strongly rejected accusations by South Africa at the ICJ that it is committing genocide against Palestinians, arguing that it is acting to defend itself and fighting Hamas.

The latest attacks have centered on Rafah, where Palestinian health workers said Israeli airstrikes killed dozens of people on Sunday.

An exchange of fire has erupted between Egyptian soldiers and the Israeli army at the Rafah crossing, according to media reports.

Meanwhile, moves are underway to try to establish conditions for lasting peace and a hostage release deal.

A "strong" Palestinian Authority is needed to bring peace in the Middle East, Borrell said just before going into the meeting with Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Mustafa.

An Israeli official said on Saturday that "there is an intention to renew these talks this week" after negotiations involving US, Qatari and Egyptian mediators stalled in early May.

Israel's campaign in Gaza has killed over 36,050 Palestinians, according to Gaza health officials on Monday.

Hamas' surprise attack on Israel on Oct 7 killed about 1,200 people, according to Israeli tallies.

Agencies via Xinhua

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