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Spanish parliament to vote on motion asking govt to recognise Palestine

The ruling Popular Party and the main opposition Socialists were in talks on the final wording of the motion which has the support of the government, sources from the two parties said.

The vote came as two Palestinians armed with a gun and meat cleavers burst into a Jerusalem synagogue and killed four Israelis in the bloodiest attack in the city in years.

The motion, proposed by the Socialists, calls on the Spanish government to “recognise Palestine as a state”, according to a draft text of the motion which can still be amended.

It also urges Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy “to promote in coordination with the European Union the recognition of the Palestinian state as sovereign, contiguous, democratic and independent which lives in peace and security with the state of Israel.”

“It is not binding, it does not set a timeline for the recognition, it gives the government the margin to proceed with the recognition when it feels it will be opportune,” Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo told reporters in Brussels on Monday.

“If we want to be effective this recognition must be done in coordination with the European Union,” he added.

The motion follows moves in other European countries intended to increase pressure for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Britain and Ireland approved similar motions last month. Sweden’s new left-leaning government went a step further and officially recognised a Palestinian state on October 30, prompting a strong protest from Israel, which swiftly withdrew its ambassador from Stockholm.

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



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