News 15/03/2024

The Spanish Congress approves ending the arms trade with Israel

La valoración de NOVACT es que, en medio de tanto horror, este es un paso importante.

The Spanish Congress approved yesterday a project of law (PNL) about Palestine that contained 6 points including the end of arms trade. This is a demand of civil society and social movements in all the mobilisations that have taken place in Spain since 7 October. This PNL has been promoted by the Spanish Coordination of Development Organisations, the Spanish Association of Research for Peace (AIPAZ) and the member organisations of both coordinators.    

The PNL was adopted and proposed by the political group SUMAR and was approved in the Foreign Affairs Committee with the favourable votes of the PSOE, SUMAR, ERC and Bildu, the abstention of Junts and the opposition of Vox and PP. The Congress journal that includes the text of the PNL is available here. 

NOVACT’s assessment is that, in the midst of so much horror, this is an important step. We particularly appreciate that it is the first time since 7 October that a Parliament of an European country demonstrates that there is a majority in favour of an Arms Embargo with Israel and that it openly expresses the willingness of not being an accomplice to a plausible genocide, according to the preliminary findings of the International Court of Justice. Even so, it is not enough. The PNL is a necessary step as it urges the Spanish government to take measures to put an end to its arms trade, but it is now imperative that the executive takes the necessary steps to make it effective. 

We must note that the approval of this PNL is also an important result of the efforts of organised civil society, which have included a 14-day hunger strike, among other measures, and numerous actions and demands throughout the country led by a platform that includes 400 organisations demanding: an end to arms trade with Israel. 

The PNL makes 6 demands to the Spanish Government: 

1.A permanent ceasefire: 

Demand a permanent ceasefire, an immediate cessation of hostilities and of any action that could aggravate the situation and lead to further escalation in the area and/or in the region.  

2.Sufficient and sustained humanitarian access throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory:  

Demand that humanitarian access be established throughout the Gaza Strip, providing its population with essential assistance, supplies and services on a continuous, sufficient, unimpeded and needs-based scale.   

Urge major international donors to provide extraordinary funding mechanisms for humanitarian response. 

3.The respect of international humanitarian law and human rights:  

Demand that all parties respect international humanitarian law and the protection of civilians and end the forced displacement of Palestinian civilians in Gaza.  

Promote the government’s implementation of accountability mechanisms under international law for potential war crimes and suspected violations of the Genocide Convention.  

 4.Put an end to arms trade between Spain and Israel.: 

In compliance with the Arms Trade Treaty and in line with the provisional ruling of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), urge the Government of Spain to end all arms trade with Israel, both exports (including dual-use material) and imports. 

5.Work towards a negotiated solution to the conflict:  

Continue to be active and push other governments and the international community to engage in serious and constructive dialogue aimed at finding a just, lasting and agreed solution that gives equal rights to live in freedom and dignity to all people.  

6.Initiate the procedure for immediate recognition of the Palestinian State by Spain.