The Israeli government expressed shock over the Spanish foreign minister’s call for a pan-European push towards the UN’s recognition of an independent Palestinian state.
Tel Aviv formally protested on Monday Trinidad Jimenez’s recent expression of optimism that the next month’s meeting of EU foreign ministers in Poland would yield progress towards the issue, Reuters reported.
Yigal Palmor, a spokesman for the Israeli foreign ministry, announced Monday that the Spanish ambassador to Tel Aviv, Alvaro Iranzo, was summoned to the foreign ministry and that the Israeli regime was in a state of ‘amazement and disappointment’ over the remarks.
Israel has expressed its serious concerns to Iranzo over the possibility of UN recognition of Palestine as an independent state.
The Spanish ambassador has reportedly responded by alleging that Jimenez’s comments were ‘misunderstood.’
Jimenez stated in an interview with El Pais newspaper on Sunday that "there’s the feeling that now is the time to do something, to give the Palestinians the hope that a state could become [a] reality."
"We have to give them some signal, because if we don’t, it could generate great frustration for the Palestinian people," she added.
The Palestinian Authority is to formally submit a request to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon for membership in the world body on September 20, when the UN General Assembly will commence its 66th session.
Israel’s ministry of military affairs has reportedly paid nearly USD 22 million to purchase what has been described as ‘crowd dispersal’ weaponry to confront protest rallies that are expected to erupt in support of Palestine’s UN recognition around the time the formal plea is submitted at the world body.