Barcelona the first major European city to suspend ties with Israel over Palestinian abuses

As reported by AJ+ in a short video post, the mayor of Barcelona, the Catalan capital, has made a bold political statement, cutting "ties with Israel over systemic violations of Palestinian human rights."

First proposed in early February, the mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, explained:

"I have decided to temporarily suspend relations with the state of Israel and with the official institutions of that state—including the twinning agreements with the Tel Aviv City Council—until the Israeli authorities put an end to the system of violations of the Palestinian people and fully comply with the obligations imposed on them by international law and the various United Nations resolutions. We cannot be silent."

As Alys Samson Estapé, one of the organizers of "Stop Complicity with Israel," explains, "This move is so historic because Barcelona is the first big city internationally that has taken concrete steps to end Israeli impunity. And the huge victory that we're celebrating in Barcelona shows how important single action is."

The Barcelona city council did not support the de-twinning decree yet lacked the authority to overturn the declaration.

The AP reported that "the mayor of Barcelona's arch-rival Madrid immediately offered to take up the twinning agreement with Tel Aviv, as both he and Colau jostle for position on international issues and investment in an election year. José Luis Martínez-Almeida, the Spanish capital's conservative mayor, accused Barcelona's leader of antisemitism and tweeted that he had written to Tel Aviv's mayor to share "Madrid's commitment to democracy and freedom."