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  • A demonstrator gestures during a protest where Palestinians demand the right to return to their homeland, at the Israel-Gaza border, east of Gaza City May 18, 2018.

    A demonstrator gestures during a protest where Palestinians demand the right to return to their homeland, at the Israel-Gaza border, east of Gaza City May 18, 2018. | Photo: Reuters

Published 17 June 2018

Navarre became the first Spanish autonomous region to endorse the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.

The parliament of the Autonomous Community of Navarre became the first in Spain to endorse the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, BDS, movement against Israel's violent and discriminatory policies against Palestinians.

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News reports Sunday said the resolution was approved on May 21 by every party except for the right wing Popular Party, which was recently ousted from the government by a vote of no confidence, and it demands Spain's central government “support any initiative promoted by the international BDS campaign” and to “suspend relations with Israel until that country stops its criminal and repression policies against the Paletinian population.

It also condemns Israel for murdering more than a hundred protesters since protests began on March in Gaza.

Countries such as Sweden, Ireland and others in the European Union have also condemned Israel's use of lethal force against peaceful protesters.

Navarre is one of the 17 autonomous communities in Spain, which have their own parliaments, and most of its population is of Basque origin and speak the language.

The motion came in response to Israel's brutal repression of the Great March of Return, in which over a hundred people were murdered by Israeli occupation forces, who then blamed the local ruling party Hamas for the riots and the deaths.

ACOM, a pro-Israeli organization working in Spain, said the measure is discriminatory and played the old “anti-semitism” card.

The news came amid a surge in support for the BDS movement in Spain. Earlier in June Valencia's council declared the city an “Israeli apartheid-free zone,” following the suit of other Spanish cities and becoming the largest one in the world to do so.

Other Spanish cities have expressed their support for the Palestinian people and the BDS movement. Madrid, Spain's capital, and its largest city condemned Israel’s “disproportionate and indiscriminate use of force … against Palestinian civilians” and called for an “immediate end” to the “illegal siege” suffocating almost 2 million people in Gaza.

Barcelona's city council called for a comprehensive arms embargo on Israel and called on the Spanish state to endorse it. Also, the Catalan cities of Terrassa and Badalona joined the calls by their capital city and demanded Spain and other European governments stop selling arms to Israel.

Pamplona expressed its support for Gazans participating in the Great Return March, calling on European governments to cut diplomatic ties with Israel and passed a resolution supporting the right of Palestinians to return to their orginal home cities and villages before the founding of Israel in 1948.

Trebujena, a small town in Andalusia, became an Apartheid Free Zone last month as well. “When central governments fail to protect human rights, city councils shoulder an immense responsibility and have the opportunity to play a historic role on the side of justice,” said Ana Sanchez, a member of the Spanish Boycott National Committee (BNC).


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