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The latest | The Israeli minister lashes out at Spain for taking steps to formally recognize the Palestinian state

Israel’s foreign minister accused Spain on Tuesday of “complicity in incitement to genocide against Jews and war crimes” after the country took steps to formally recognize a Palestinian state. Ireland and Norway would follow suit the same day in a coordinated effort among the three Western European countries.

The diplomatic move has no immediate impact on the war in Gaza but increases international pressure on Israel to soften its devastating response to October’s Hamas-led attack.

An Israeli airstrike hit a tent camp in a western part of Rafah last weekend, sparking a major fire and killing at least 45 people, according to health officials. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu acknowledged that a “tragic accident” had occurred. The strike has only added to the growing international criticism Israel has received over its war with Hamas, with even its closest allies expressing outrage over the civilian deaths. Israel insists it adheres to international law even as it faces scrutiny from the world’s highest courts, one of which last week demanded it halt the Rafah offensive.

In the past two weeks, more than a million Palestinians fled Rafah as Israeli forces pushed deeper into the city. People displaced by the fighting lack shelter, food, water and other essentials for survival, the UN says. Israel says it must invade Rafah to destroy the last stronghold of Hamas militants.

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Israeli bombings and ground offensives in Gaza have killed more than 36,000 Palestinians, according to the Health Ministry, which makes no distinction between fighters and civilians.

Israel began its war in Gaza after Hamas’ attack on October 7, in which militants stormed into southern Israel, killing about 1,200 people – mostly civilians – and kidnapping about 250. Israel says about 100 hostages are still trapped in Gaza, along with the bodies of about 30 more.

Currently:

– Netanyahu says deadly Israeli attack in Rafah was the result of a ‘tragic accident’.

– While Israel attacks Rafah, Palestinians live in tents and scream for food.

– The Spanish prime minister says his cabinet will recognize a Palestinian state as the rift between the EU and Israel widens.

– An Israeli attack in southern Lebanon kills two people near a hospital, officials say.

– Iran’s acting president addresses his new parliament. A watchdog says Iran has further expanded its stockpile of enriched uranium to near weapons-grade levels.

Follow AP’s coverage of the war in Gaza at https://apnews.com/hub/israel-hamas-war.

Here’s the latest:

NORWAY FORMALLY RECOGNIZES A PALESTINIAN STATE

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COPENHAGEN, Denmark — Norway formally recognized a Palestinian state on Tuesday, with the Scandinavian foreign minister calling it “a milestone in the relationship between Norway and Palestine.”

Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide said that “the recognition is a strong expression of support for the moderate forces in both countries.”

“It is regrettable, however, that the Israeli government is showing no signs of constructive engagement,” Barth Eide said. “The international community must increase its political and economic support for Palestine and continue the work toward a two-state solution.”

Last week, Norway, along with Spain and Ireland, said in a coordinated effort that they recognized a Palestinian state.

SPAIN WILL BEGIN TO RECOGNIZE A PALESTINIAN STATE

MADRID – Spain has taken steps to formally recognize a Palestinian state. Ireland and Norway will follow suit on Tuesday in a coordinated effort among the three Western European countries. Israel denounced the diplomatic move that will have no immediate impact on the crushing war in Gaza but increases international pressure to soften its devastating response to October’s Hamas-led attack.

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz accused Spain of being “complicit in incitement to genocide against Jews and war crimes” and told the country that its consulate in Jerusalem will not be allowed to help the Palestinians.

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Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, who announced his country’s decision before parliament last week, has spent months touring European and Middle Eastern countries to drum up support for recognition and a ceasefire in Gaza.

EU-Israel relations soured on Monday, on the eve of diplomatic recognition of EU member states Ireland and Spain, with Madrid insisting that sanctions against Israel should be considered over continued deadly attacks in the southern city of Rafah Gaza.

The Iranian parliament chooses the hardline QALIBAF as its spokesperson

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Iran’s parliament on Tuesday re-elected hardliner Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf as speaker, reaffirming its far-right makeup in the wake of a helicopter crash that killed the country’s president and foreign minister.

Of the 287 lawmakers who voted on Tuesday, 198 backed Qalibaf to retain the position he first took in 2021. He initially became chairman after a series of failed presidential bids and 12 years as leader of the Iranian capital. However, many know Qalibaf for his support as a Revolutionary Guard general for the violent crackdown on Iranian university students in 1999. He also reportedly ordered the use of live gunfire against Iranian students in 2003 while serving as the country’s police chief .

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