Spanish MPs urge govt to recognize Palestine

Spanish lawmakers adopted a motion submitted by the opposition Socialists to recognize Palestine

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Spanish lawmakers adopted a motion Tuesday calling on the government to recognize a Palestinian state, Agence France-Presse reported.

The motion submitted by the opposition Socialists asks the conservative government to recognize Palestine in coordination with any similar move by the European Union.

The symbolic motion, which echoes similar votes last month in Britain and Ireland, was backed by all the political groupings in the lower house after the ruling People’s Party (PP) watered down the wording hours after an attack in Jerusalem.

The vote Tuesday night was 319 in favor with two opposed and one abstention, the Associated Press reported.

The non-binding text brought by the opposition Socialists was initially an outright call to recognize a Palestinian state and had angered the Israeli government, Reuters reported.

But Beatriz Rodriguez-Salmones of the PP, which holds an absolute majority in the lower house, told the debate her party would not back a unilateral recognition of the Palestinian state “at a time of intense pain for Israel.”

Two Palestinians armed with a meat cleaver and a gun burst into a synagogue and killed four Jews at prayer before being shot dead.

“It is not the right time to seek a unilateral recognition. Peace and a peaceful cohabitation between two states are the objective ... The method is a negotiation between the two,” she said.

The text that was adopted said: “The parliament urges the government to recognize Palestine as a state ... This recognition should be the consequence of a process negotiated between the parties that guarantees peace and security for both, the respect of the rights of the citizens and regional

Britain and Ireland approved similar motions last month. Sweden's new left-leaning government went further and officially recognized a Palestinian state Oct. 30 - prompting Israel to withdraw its ambassador from Stockholm.

The European efforts reflect growing international impatience with Israel’s nearly half-century control of the West Bank, east Jerusalem and its blockade of the Gaza Strip.

Meanwhile, the Socialist opposition party that presented the resolution condemned the killing Tuesday of four people in a Jerusalem synagogue by two Palestinian cousins.

(With Agencies)

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