In response to ongoing conflict and human rights concerns in the Gaza Strip, Spain has announced the suspension of all arms sales and exports to Israel. José Manuel Albares, Spain’s Foreign Minister, disclosed in an interview with Al Jazeera that the suspension took effect on October 7 last year, coinciding with Israel’s military bombardment and invasion of Gaza following clashes with Hamas.
Albares emphasised the importance of finding a just and lasting solution to the Palestinian issue, citing Israel’s targeting of UN facilities, schools, and hospitals in Gaza. Spain advocates for strict adherence to the rulings of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and calls for an immediate and permanent ceasefire in Gaza, given the significant loss of Palestinian lives.
The events of that month and beyond “made us realise the importance of a just and permanent solution to the question of the Palestinian people,” the Spanish Foreign Minister said.
Spain applauds Qatar’s mediation efforts and reiterates its support for a viable Palestinian state coexisting with Israel. Madrid proposes an international peace conference based on a two-state solution framework.
This decision by Spain aligns with a broader trend of international restrictions on arms sales to Israel, notably following the ICJ’s recent ruling on Israel’s actions in Gaza. Belgium’s Wallonia region and the Japanese Itochu Corporation have also taken steps to limit exports to Israel, reflecting growing global concern over the situation in the region.