Barcelona cuts ties with Israel amid war with Hamas

Ada Colau, who proposed the declaration, accused the Jewish state of ‘genocide’


Barcelona civic chiefs have suspended relations with Israel for a second time this year after the left-wing political party behind the move accused the Jewish state of “genocide” in its ongoing war with Hamas.

The Barcelona city council on Friday approved a declaration suspending relations until there was a permanent cease-fire in Gaza and the country “respects the basic rights of the Palestinian people.”

Friday’s declaration was put forward by former mayor Ada Colau’s far-left Barcelona en Comun party and backed by current mayor Jaume Collboni’s Socialist Party, as well as the left-wing separatist party ERC.

The declaration condemns all attacks on the civilian population, both by Hamas and Israel, as well as “any collective punishment, forced displacement, systematic destruction of homes and civil infrastructure as well as the blockade of energy, water, food, and medical supplies to the population of the Gaza Strip.”

According to Barcelona city council’s approved declaration, the main obstacles to long-lasting peace are “the occupation and colonisation of Palestinian territories,” and the “denial of rights” to the people.

Colau said: "It is not a war, it is genocide. We must not only denounce it, but act.”

Hamas praised the move and said in a statement on Telegram: “We call on cities around the world to follow what the Barcelona city council did as a victory for humanity and the values of freedom and justice, the right of peoples to self-determination, and a rejection of the massacres of the Zionist-Nazi occupation against children and defenceless civilians.”

This is not the first time Barcelona has cut ties with Israel. In February, then-Mayor Colau suspended the city’s relationship with Israel and their twin city agreement with Tel Aviv.

Speaking in February, Lior Haiat, spokesman for the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, called the decision “unfortunate” and “in complete contrast to the position of the majority of the residents of Barcelona and their representatives in the city council.”

He added: “The decision gives support to extremists, terrorist organisations and antisemitism, and impairs the interests of the residents of Barcelona.

“The friendship between Israel and Barcelona is long-standing, and is based on shared culture and values. Even this unfortunate decision will not damage this friendship.”

However, during elections this summer, Colau lost her position to the Collboni. He restored diplomatic ties with Israel and the twin city agreement with Tel Aviv in September.

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