The disagreements between Israel and several European countries over the reaction of the Jewish state to the Hamas attacks of last October 7 do not stop happening.
The European Union has established a common position on the conflict between Israel and Hamas. It recognizes their right to self-defense but they affect the need to protect the civilian population and that Israel complies with international law.
The wave of violence that has occurred since October 7 has left a high number of fatalities. The Hamas attacks caused more than 1,200 deaths in Israel, while the Israeli offensive in Gaza – sustained over time – It already leaves more than 14,800 Palestinians deadincluding 6,150 children.
The European countries most critical of Israel
Several countries have requested that stop violence against civilians in Gaza, among them Spain. Pedro Sánchez’s visit to Israel has opened a diplomatic crisis between both countries after the President of the Government condemned the Hamas attacks, while censuring Israel’s response in Gaza and demanding a ‘ceasefire’.
“The number of dead Palestinians is really unbearable. A clear distinction must be made between military objectives and the protection of civilians,” Sánchez demanded before his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu.
Likewise, the President of the Government called on the highest leaders of Israel “a viable Palestinian state” and opened the door to unilateral recognition of Palestine by Spain.
Israel did not like Pedro Sánchez’s words at all, which accused the Spanish leader of “supporting terrorism” by Hamas.
The same has happened to the Belgian Prime Minister, Alexander De Croo, who accompanied Sánchez on his tour of the Middle East. The politician too has been accused by Israel of supporting terrorismafter his speech on the Israeli offensive delivered from Egypt.
The Belgian prime minister condemned the “horror” of the attacks carried out by Hamas and reiterated Israel’s right to defend itself. But, like Sánchez, He also urged Israel to comply with international law and to stop “the killing of civilians.”
Ireland is another of the countries that has been involved in a crossroads of accusations with the head of Israel’s Foreign Affairs. Its prime minister, Leo Varadkar, published a message on the social network ‘X’ (formerly Twitter) in which celebrated the release of 13 Israeli hostages. Among them, a 9-year-old Israeli-Irish girl named Emily Hand.
Varadkar said in the publication that the girl “was lost” not to mention that he was held hostage by Hamas in Gaza. This has made the Israeli Foreign Minister, Eli Cohen, very uncomfortable, who has accused Leo Varadkar of “normalizing terrorism.”
For its part, Luxembourg was one of the countries that They criticized the European Commission’s initial decision to withdraw aid to Palestine. The Luxembourg Foreign Minister, Jean Asselborn, considered that the EU should “maintain” “vital” humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian population, guaranteeing, of course, that European financing does not reach the hands of Hamas.
EU countries that already recognize Palestine
During his investiture speech, Pedro Sánchez assured that the new Government “will work in Europe and in Spain for the recognition of the State of Palestine.” In the European Union they are nine countries that already recognize the Palestinian State: Bulgaria, Cyprus, Slovakia, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Czech Republic, Romania (all of them since 1988, the vast majority due to their former membership in the Soviet Union). Additionally, Sweden recognized Palestine in 2014.