Israel to block Spain Consulate from providing services to Palestinians in West Bank

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz announced Saturday that Israel will halt the Spanish consulate in Jerusalem from providing services to Palestinians in the West Bank. The decision has come after a series of recognitions of Palestine by Ireland, Spain and Norway.

The Israeli foreign ministry stated Wednesday that it had decided to summon the ambassadors of the three countries for a reprimand conversation. Among others, the country’s top diplomatic institution advocated that Spain had decided to “reward Hamas’s murderers and rapists, who raped girls and burned babies, with a gold medal”.

Moreover, the Spanish Vice President Yolanda Diaz, shared Wednesday that it was not enough to recognise Palestine, but to free the country “from the river to the sea”, a remark which was labeled antisemitic by Katz. The foreign minister said that if Diaz wanted to understand what radical Islam really wants, then she should learn about the 700-year-old Islamic rule in Al-Andaluz, today’s Spain.

Both Israel and Palestine have signed the Vienna Convention of Consular Relations of 1962, article 6 of which states:

The sending State may, after notifying the States concerned, entrust a consular post established in a particular State with the exercise of consular functions in another State, unless there is express objection by one of the States concerned.

This article permits a signatory party to exercise its consular functions in two or more States, but that doesn’t exempt Israel from the possibility of expressing a clear objection, which is an unavoidable problem for Spain’s consulate in Jerusalem to provide services for Palestinians in Israel.

The International Court of Justice ordered Israel to halt its military offensive and any other action in the Rafah governate Friday.