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Spain and the Hamas government

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Author(s): Ignacio Álvarez-Ossorio Alvariño

Journal: Revista CIDOB d'Afers Internacionals
ISSN 1133-6595

Issue: 79-80;
Start page: 189;
Date: 2007;
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Keywords: Spain | Palestine | Israel | foreign policy

ABSTRACT
Since the restoration of democracy, Spain’s successive governments have been noted for their favourable stance toward the issue of Palestine and their support for the creation of a sovereign independent state in the territories that Israel occupied during the Six-Day War. Yasser Arafat’s visit to Spain in the time of the UCD, the holding of the Madrid Conference during the term of government of the PSOE and the designation of Miguel Ángel Moratinos as the EU’s special envoy for the Peace Process during the Partido Popular’s term of government are some of the landmarks that have expressed this exemplary relationship between the Spanish State and the Palestine question. However, the victory of Hamas in the legislative elections of 25 January 2006 radically changed the situation, as it led to Rodríguez Zapatero’s government joining the international boycott of the new Islamist executive; even so, the Spanish government clearly maintained its support for restarting the Peace Process, in the form of its backing for Mahmud Abbas, the President of the Palestine Authority. The armed conflict in Gaza in June 2007 which led to the Islamists retaking the Gaza Strip and the formation of a new government in the West Bank led by the technocrat Salam Fayad served to normalise the situation, given that it encouraged the raising of international sanctions and a return to normality in Spanish-Palestine relations.
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