Israel slams Spain's vote for Palestinian recognition
The Israeli Foreign Ministry harshly criticized the Spanish parliament for passing a non-binding resolution calling for the recognition of a Palestinian state, charging such measures "push away" the chances of reaching an agreement, Xinhua reported.
"The Spanish parliament's declaration only pushes away further the chances of reaching an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, because it encourages the Palestinians to take extreme positions," the ministry said in an official statement.
The ministry also slammed the timing of the vote, which took place Tuesday evening, the same day in which a murderous militant attack at a synagogue in Jerusalem claimed the lives of five Israelis.
The Spanish parliament passed the symbolic motion, calling upon the government to recognize a Palestinian state, with 319 parliament members voting for it and only two voting against it.
"It is not binding," Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo told reporters in Belgium the day before the vote. "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," he added.
Both the British and the Irish parliaments made similar non- binding resolutions in the past month, following Sweden, the first major Western European country to announce its acknowledgement of a Palestinian state in October. French politicians will vote on a similar bill next week.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu criticized the wave of the symbolic recognition of a Palestinian state and blamed the countries that want to "reward" the Palestinians for what he dubbed as "constant incitement" by the Palestinian Authority, urging the international community to denunciate terror.
Peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians collapsed in April and the Palestinian Authority had been seeking diplomatic courses to end the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and east Jerusalem.
Israel is facing a diplomatic crisis with its relations with the United States at a low point, and growing criticism over its ongoing expansion of settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem. The European Union is considering enacting sanctions against Israel over its settlement policy. In addition, Israel has been under scrutiny for its offensive in the recent Gaza War in which claimed lives of more than 2,000 Palestinians.