Israel decries Spanish vote on recognizing Palestine
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Israel decries Spanish vote on recognizing Palestine

Jerusalem says lawmakers should have instead condemned the ‘abominable slaughter’ at synagogue

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy gestures during a press conference at La Moncloa palace in Madrid, on November 12, 2014. (photo credit: AFP/Pierre-Philippe Marcou)
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy gestures during a press conference at La Moncloa palace in Madrid, on November 12, 2014. (photo credit: AFP/Pierre-Philippe Marcou)

Israel denounced as unhelpful on Wednesday a vote by the Spanish parliament calling on Madrid to recognize a Palestinian state, hours after a deadly Jerusalem synagogue attack.

In a highly symbolic move, Spanish MPs adopted almost unanimously a motion urging the conservative government to recognize Palestine in coordination with any similar move by the European Union should the sides reach a peace accord.

The vote, which aims to push the parties to reach a solution to the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict, follows similar moves in Britain and Ireland last month.

French parliamentarians will also vote on recognizing a Palestinian state on November 28.

So far, none of the governments has heeded the calls.

The vote took place several hours after two Palestinian terrorists staged a frenzied attack with meat cleavers and a gun at a synagogue in Jerusalem, killing four rabbis at prayer and a policeman, and drawing an angry response from Israel.

“The declaration of the Spanish parliament only distances the chance of reaching an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, because it encourages the Palestinians to become more extreme in their positions,” a Foreign Ministry statement said.

“It would have been better if the Spanish parliament had instead chosen to do the right thing by condemning the abominable slaughter carried out by inflamed Palestinians in a synagogue in Jerusalem.”

Late on Wednesday, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu accused the international community of ignoring the bloodshed and seeking instead to reward the Palestinians, in a thinly veiled reference to the vote.

“Unfortunately, there are some who are trying even now to give the Palestinians a prize… of a Palestinian state, which doesn’t even recognize the Jewish state,” he said.

“We won’t put up with this.”

Israel has said repeatedly that the Palestinians will only secure their long-promised state through bilateral negotiations and not through unilateral recognition by foreign states or by the United Nations.

On October 30, Sweden’s new left-leaning government went a step further and officially recognized a Palestinian state, becoming the first EU member in western Europe to do so and prompting Israel to recall its ambassador.

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