By John Ensor •
Published: 21 Nov 2023 • 8:49
Pedro Sanchez In Cairo last month.
Spain’s President of the Government Pedro Sanchez is to travel to Israel and Palestine this week in what will be his first overseas visit since his investiture earlier this month.
In a joint international visit, Pedro Sanchez, Spain’s Government President, and Alexander de Croo, Belgium’s Prime Minister, are set to travel to Israel and Palestine on Thursday, November 23.
This diplomatic mission comes at a critical time, with Spain currently presiding over the Council of the EU and Belgium poised to take the helm in January.
Their visit, just a week after Sanchez’s swearing-in on November 16, aims to engage in high-level discussions with key regional leaders. These include Israel’s President Isaac Herzog, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian National Authority.
The talks are expected to address the recent Hamas-perpetrated terrorist attack and the worsening humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip.
According to the Secretary of State, the agenda will prioritize the protection of civilians, an immediate and unconditional release of hostages, and ensuring humanitarian access to the Gaza Strip.
Central to their discussions will be the pursuit of a sustainable political resolution, envisioning two states – Israel and Palestine – coexisting in peace and security.
Sanchez’s commitment to the Arab-Israeli conflict resolution was evident during his October meeting with Abbas at a peace summit in Egypt. ‘I have conveyed to him our support and solidarity with the suffering of the people in Gaza,’ Sanchez remarked on his Twitter/X account, demonstrating a continued engagement with the issue.
The humanitarian situation in Gaza remains dire. Following a recent attack by the Israeli army on the Indonesian hospital in northern Gaza, the death toll has escalated. The Gaza Health Ministry, under Hamas control, reported at least 12 fatalities.
The ongoing conflict has led to the collapse of healthcare services in the region, with all hospitals in northern Gaza ceasing operations due to fuel shortages and the Israeli siege.
The evacuation of 31 premature infants from Al-Shifa hospital, with most transferred to Egypt, highlights the severity of the crisis. U.S. President Joe Biden has expressed optimism about a potential hostage release deal, which could pause Israeli military operations in Gaza.
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Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina.
He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.
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