Spain's PM says EU could reevaluate relations with Israel if it finds it breached law

FILE PHOTO: European Union leaders summit in Brussels

MADRID (Reuters) - The European Union should debate whether to continue its strategic relationship with Israel if the European Commission finds that Israel has breached humanitarian law in its war on Gaza, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez told Al Jazeera TV.

In February, Sanchez and his Irish counterpart asked Brussels to urgently review whether Israel is complying with its human rights obligations in the Gaza Strip, where the Jewish state has unleashed a massive offensive since an attack by Hamas militants on Israel in October.

"In the case of the EU, the situation would be that there's an open door to have a debate within the European Council in order to see if we continue with this strategic relation or not. But this is something for which we first need to have the assessment of the European Commission," Sanchez told Al Jazeera.

Sanchez reiterated his call for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza and for the international recognition of Palestine as a sovereign state with full membership in the United Nations.

Spain, Ireland, Malta and Slovenia announced last month they would work toward recognition of a Palestinian state. Israel told the four countries this would represent a "prize for terrorism" that would reduce the chances of a negotiated resolution to the conflict.

Since 1988, 139 out of 193 United Nations member states have recognised Palestinian statehood.

(Reporting by David Latona; Editing by Andrei Khalip)