EU Ministers Mull Sanctions On Israel As Ireland, Spain, Norway Recognize Palestinian State

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by Tyler Durden
Tuesday, May 28, 2024 - 03:20 PM

Israel's military says it is investigating what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called a "tragic mishap" - the Sunday bombing of a refugee camp in Rafah which reportedly killed 45 Palestinians, including women and children, and injured dozens.

This rare expression of 'regret' amid an ongoing investigation set against global outrage has not stopped some European governments from threatening sanctions on Israel for alleged war crimes and human rights violations. Meanwhile on Tuesday Ireland joined Spain and Norway on Tuesday in formally recognizing a Palestinian state as part of a coordinated effort.

Foreign ministers of Norway, Spain, and Ireland, via AP

The countries say that the move ultimately has the aim of bringing about Israel-Palestinian peace. However, Israel has blasted it as a "reward for terrorism".

Irish Foreign Minister Micheál Martin has indicated that he and European Union counterparts had a "significant" discussion about the possibility of slapping sanctions on Israel if it doesn't reverse course in its brutal Gaza campaign.

"For the first time at an EU meeting, in a real way, I’ve seen significant discussion on sanctions and ‘what if,’" he said in a Brussels press briefing on Monday. He reference the last Friday International Court of Justice (ICJ) call for an immediate ceasefire.

Martin cautioned however that there remains "some distance between people articulating the need for a sanctions-based approach if Israel does not comply with the ICJ’s ruling … to agreement in the Council meeting, given all of the different perspectives there."

He did say that EU foreign ministers found agreement on a desire for Israel to "adhere to those provisional orders… and cease its military operations in Rafah."

There's as yet no specifics on the types of sanctions proposed and discussed, but thus far the EU, along with the US, UK, and Canada have sanctioned only violent small settler groups amid a string of attacks on Palestinians in the West Bank.

Meanwhile Washington is fighting back, putting pressure both on the ICJ and European countries backing its ruling last week...

Israel is meanwhile warning Ireland that its actions will blowback, with Israel’s ambassador to Dublin on Monday having described that "a crisis in bilateral ties over Ireland’s plan to recognize a Palestinian state sends the wrong message about Ireland as a tech hub and is worrying Israeli investors in the Irish IT services sector."

"Ireland is not neutral or an honest broker in this case, because they are very supportive of the Palestinians. But what we are saying [is]: This is not the time for such announcement on recognition," Ambassador Erlich said.