Spain's Foreign Minister, José Manuel Albares, announced on May 17th that "ships carrying weapons for Israel will not be allowed to use Spanish ports.(Photo by Andrew Harnik/Getty Images)


Spain bans vessels ‘carrying weapons for Israel’ from its ports


Spain’s foreign minister José Manuel Albares said that “ships carrying weapons for Israel will not be allowed to use Spanish ports”.

In doing so, Albares on May 17 also emphasised that Spain did not want to “contribute to the war” in the Middle East.

The country has denied entry to the Danish-flagged cargo vessel Marianne Danica, which had requested permission to dock at Cartagena on May 21.

Spanish media outlets reported that the ship was carrying “nearly 27 tons of explosive material”.

Albares’ announcement came amid a row between Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez’s Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE)  and his coalition partner, the left-wing Sumar, and the Podemos party over another ship, the German-owned cargo carrier Borkum.

The hard-left parties claimed the Borkum could be carrying weapons to support Israel’s offensive in Gaza while the Spanish Government said it was transporting cargo for the Czech defence ministry.

Spain’s stance on banning ships carrying weapons destined for Israel aligns with its broader approach to the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Albares said the refusal of the Marianne Danica was “consistent” with the Government’s decision not to grant weapons export licences to Israel following the Hamas terrorist attacks on October 7.

Spain has been particularly vocal about Israel’s Gaza offensive and is seeking to rally other European countries to accept the idea of officially recognising a Palestinian State, which it is set to do so itself.

Spain is not alone in this effort. Slovakia has also started procedures to recognise the Palestine State in the hope of encouraging to an end to the Gaza conflict.

The prime ministers of Spain and Ireland have, meanwhile, met to discuss plans on how to get European Union Member States to also officially recognise Palestine.