Sánchez Says Spain Won’t Recognise Changes To 1967 Israeli-Palestinian Border Lines


By Fernando Heller

(EurActiv) — Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said on Tuesday (28 May) that Madrid will not admit changes to the 1967 border lines that were not previously agreed between Israel and the Palestinian state, which Madrid officially recognised on the same day in a coordinated move with Ireland and Norway.

“The State of Palestine must be viable, with the West Bank and Gaza connected by a corridor and with East Jerusalem as its capital and unified under the legitimate government of the Palestinian National Authority (…),” Sánchez said in a statement.

“We will not recognise changes to the 1967 border lines other than those agreed by the parties,” he said.

According to him, this would be in line with UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 as well as with the position of the EU.

While describing the decision to recognise Palestinian statehood as “historic”, the Spanish prime minister expressed his desire to have “the best possible relationship” with Israel and reiterated his “categorical” rejection of the Hamas militants, who do not believe in Israel and Palestine living side by side in peace.

Israel is “a friendly people whom we respect, whom we appreciate and with whom we want to have the best possible relationship”, Sánchez stressed.

Recognising Palestinian statehood for Madrid would have the sole objective of helping Israelis and Palestinians to achieve peace, he added.

“It is not only a question of historical justice with the legitimate aspirations of the people of Palestine; it is also a peremptory necessity if we all want to achieve peace and it is the only way to advance towards the solution that we all recognize 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,” Sánchez said.

Díaz qualifies offensive words towards Israel

Despite Sánchez’s conciliatory tone, Tel Aviv issued a harsh démarche against Spain on the same day. Foreign Minister Israel Katz accused Sánchez of being “complicit in inciting Jewish genocide” with the recognition of Palestinian statehood.

Katz also condemned Madrid for failing to remove Spanish Deputy Prime Minister Yolanda Díaz from office, after she stated last week that “Palestine will be free, from the river to the sea”.

The political phrase, which has become a battle cry used by either side, is generally viewed as dismissing the right of the other to the land between the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.

For Hamas, this de facto means the elimination of the state of Israel, which lies between the two.

Díaz, who is also minister of labour and leader of the left-wing platform Sumar, the PSOE’s junior partner in government, maintains a tough stance on Israel, which she has accused of committing “genocide” in Gaza, following Hamas terror attacks in October 2023.

According to the Gaza Health Ministry, Israel’s military operation has so far killed more than 35,000 people, many of them civilians.

The Sumar leader last week released a controversial video in which she celebrated Madrid’s announcement of recognition of Palestinian statehood.´

After the protest from Tel Aviv and the Israeli embassy in Madrid, Díaz was forced to qualify her words.

“We have always had (in Sumar) the same position, the recognition of two states that share from the river to the sea; that share the economy, that share the rights and above all the future of peace,” she stated.


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