MPs from three opposition parties in the Foreign Affairs Committee condemned the Israeli army’s attacks on civilians in Gaza in a committee protocol this morning, RÚV reports. The Progressive Party’s parliamentary MPs also released a statement condemning the Israeli army’s attacks on Palestinians, calling them a gross violation of international agreements and international law as well as a crime against humanity. MPs from both governing and opposition parties put forth a resolution yesterday proposing that Alþingi condemn the Israeli military’s acts of violence against the Palestinian nation.
Iceland’s parliament discussed the ongoing violence in Palestine and Israel today. Social-Democratic Alliance MP Rósa Björk Brynjólfsdóttir called it “intolerable” that air strikes were targeted at civilians and criticised other MPs in the Foreign Affairs Committee for not taking a stand for human rights. “It is noteworthy that MPs from the Left-Green Movement or the Progressive Party did not trust themselves to be included in this protocol, which was submitted and approved by MPs from the other parties.” She said their abstinence was a disappointment and accused the two parties of being “under the heel” of the Independence Party. The three parties – Left-Green, Progressive, and Independent – currently form the governing coalition under Left-Green Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir. Both Bryndís Haraldsdóttir, MP for the Independence Party, and Bjarkey Olsen Gunnarsdóttir, MP for the Left-Greens, agreed with Rósa Björk and called for a ceasefire.
Discuss Gaza With US Secretary of State
Iceland’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Prime Minister, and President all discussed the situation in Gaza with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken yesterday during his official visit in Reykjavík. Upon his arrival to Harpa concert hall yesterday morning, Blinken was greeted by a group of protesters holding signs in support of Palestine. During a press conference shortly after, Blinken referenced US President Joe Biden’s recent statement that “Israel, like every country, has the right to defend itself against attacks.” He added, however, that the US’ goal is “to bring the current cycle of violence to an end as quickly as possible.” Both the US and Iceland officially support a two-state solution for the region.
Iceland has shown both official and unofficial support of the Palestinian cause in recent years. In 2011, Iceland was the first Western country to recognise Palestine as an independent state. In 2019, Iceland’s national broadcaster RÚV was fined by the European Broadcasting Union due to the behaviour of Iceland’s representatives Hatari at the Eurovision Song Contest that year, which took place in Israel. The band members of Hatari brandished banners reading “Palestine” in the Palestinian flag colours in the Eurovision green room during the event’s live filming.