“The time has come to move from words to action,” Pedro Sánchez warned before the plenary session of Congress. And the President of the Government announced that next Tuesday, May 28, the Council of Ministers will approve the recognition of the State of Palestine by Spain. “A historical milestone”, which echoes the “majority sentiment of the Spanish people”.

The commitment that Sánchez adopted six months ago on his first tour of the Middle East after the outbreak of the war between Hamas and Israel, right at the Rafah crossing – the southern gate of the Gaza Strip – will thus be fulfilled after long months of preparations and negotiations in the region and in Europe. Spain, in fact, will finally take this step jointly with Norway and Ireland.

The Chief Executive assumed that this decision would have consequences for the Government of Beniamin Netanyahu. “We are aware and we are prepared to assume them. Because the purpose of diplomacy is not to not bother anyone,” Sánchez argued.

And, indeed, Israel’s reaction was immediate, while the diplomatic clash between Sánchez’s executives and Javier Milei’s Argentine executive remains open. The Foreign Minister of the Hebrew State, Israel Katz, ordered to call his ambassador in Madrid, Rodica Radian-Gordon, for consultations. And he also summoned the Spanish ambassador to Israel, Ana María Salomón, to convey her protest. He adopted the same measures with Norway and Ireland.

Katz will show the three European ambassadors the brutal video that the Hamas militants themselves recorded during their attack on Israeli territory on October 7, 2023. But Sánchez has already seen those horrible images: Netanyahu himself played them at his meeting in Jerusalem , on November 23, to affirm his position.

The Spanish president warned yesterday, however, that in recent months everything has gotten worse in Palestine. “Netanyahu has continued his destruction of Gaza,” he lamented. “Netanyahu continues to turn a deaf ear, bombing hospitals, schools and homes, punishing more than a million innocent children with hunger, cold and terror,” he noted. “If there is one thing that is clear to me, it is that Netanyahu does not have a peace project for Palestine,” he said.

“Fighting against the terrorist group Hamas is legitimate and necessary,” he acknowledged. But Netanyahu is generating so much pain, resentment and destruction in Gaza and the rest of Palestine that the two-state solution is in serious danger of becoming viable.” The Israeli offensive, he warned, “will only perpetuate hatred and terrorism, worsening the security prospects for Israel and preventing a horizon of peace.”

“We cannot allow it. The countries that defend human rights and the rules-based international order are obliged to act,” Sánchez defended. “We are not going to allow the possibility of two states, which is the only just and sustainable solution to this terrible conflict, to be destroyed by force,” she said.

“We know that our initiative will not give back to the Palestinians the time or lives lost, but we trust that it will give them hope and dignity,” he justified.

And he defended the coherence of his decision: “It would be hypocritical to be outraged at Putin’s unjustified attacks against the Ukrainian civilian population, and look the other way when Netanyahu does the same against the civilians of Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem.” “Our commitment to human rights – he concluded – cannot depend on the skin color or religion of the victims.”

Sánchez insisted that the recognition of Palestine “is not against anyone.” “It is not against the people of Israel, whom we respect and appreciate, nor against the Jews, an admirable people,” he stressed. “It is also not in favor of Hamas as Netanyahu’s propagandists and PP and Vox deputies say in a shameful attempt to gain political advantage,” he criticized. And he called on Alberto Núñez Feijóo to clarify whether or not he supports the recognition of Palestine: “Yes or no?”