NewsSpain and Ireland call for urgent EU review of Israel's human rights obligations in Gaza

Spain and Ireland call for urgent EU review of Israel's human rights obligations in Gaza

Israeli soldiers. Illustrative photo.
Israeli soldiers. Illustrative photo.
Images source: © Getty Images | Amir Levy
3:47 AM EST, February 15, 2024

Spain and Ireland have approached the European Commission to evaluate their relations with Israel immediately, said Spain's Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, on Wednesday. The cause is Tel Aviv's indication that it's ready to launch an attack in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, where over 1.4 million Palestinians reside.

In a letter obtained by the Spanish and Irish newspapers ("Irish Times" and "El Pais"), the administrations of both countries urge the EU to urgently review whether Tel Aviv is living up to its obligations. These include those stemming from the Association Agreement between Israel and the European Union, which dictates that respect for human rights and democratic principles are vital facets of the relationship.

In a letter to the head of the EC, Ursula von der Leyen, the prime ministers of both countries express their "grave concern" and highlight "widespread concerns" over potential Israeli violations of international humanitarian law and human rights.

Could Israel face EU sanctions?

"The horrifying terrorist attacks perpetrated by Hamas and other armed groups do not justify any potential violations of international humanitarian law." The letter emphasizes that if the EC confirms any violations by Israel, it should suggest "appropriate measures" to the European Council.

"This action reflects Europe's growing frustration with the escalating humanitarian disaster in the Gaza Strip and, albeit not directly, signifies the first hint towards the possibility of imposing economic sanctions" - comments "The Times of Israel."

Source: "The Times of Israel", Anadolu Agency

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