Israel pummels Gaza as troops push into central Rafah

Spain rejects “restrictions” that Israel plans to impose on the activities of its consulate in Jerusalem in response to Madrid’s recognition of a Palestinian state, Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares said Friday.

“This morning we sent a ‘note verbale’ to the Israeli government in which we reject any restriction on the normal activity of the Spanish consulate general in Jerusalem, as its status is guaranteed by international law,” he said during an interview with radio Onda Cero.

“This status cannot therefore be changed unilaterally by Israel,” he said, adding Madrid had asked Israel “to reverse this decision”.

Israel’s foreign ministry said Monday it had told the Spanish consulate in Jerusalem to stop offering consular services to Palestinians from June 1 over Madrid’s recognition of a Palestinian state.

The ministry said that Spain’s consulate in Jerusalem is “authorised to provide consular services to residents of the consular district of Jerusalem only, and is not authorised to provide services or perform consular activity vis-a-vis residents of the Palestinian Authority”.

Israeli Foreign Minister called it a “punitive” measure following the Spanish government’s recognition of a Palestinian state.

The Spanish and European Union flags flutter on the consulate of Spain building [Getty]

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