Feedback | Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Spain, Ireland and Norway recognise Palestinian statehood

Spain, Ireland and Norway officially recognised a Palestinian state on Tuesday, prompting an angry reaction from Israel, which has found itself increasingly isolated after more than seven months of conflict in Gaza.

Madrid, Dublin and Oslo said they sought to accelerate efforts to secure a ceasefire in Israel’s war with Hamas in Gaza. The three countries say they hope their decision will spur other European Union countries to follow suit.

“It’s the only way of advancing toward what everyone recognises as the only possible solution to achieve a peaceful future, one of a Palestinian state that lives side by side with the Israeli state in peace and security,” Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said in a televised address.

Spain is recognising a unified Palestinian state, including the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, under the Palestinian National Authority with East Jerusalem as its capital, he said.

The move means 146 of the 193 member states of the United Nations now recognise a Palestinian state, Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares said.

The Palestinian Authority, which exercises limited self-rule in the West Bank under Israeli military occupation, has welcomed the decision.

Sanchez said Madrid would not recognise any changes to pre-1967 borders unless agreed to by both parties.

Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs said last week it would upgrade its representative office in Ramallah in the West Bank to an embassy, appoint an ambassador there and upgrade the status of the Palestinian mission in Ireland to an embassy.

“We had wanted to recognise Palestine at the end of a peace process. However we have made this move alongside Spain and Norway to keep the miracle of peace alive,” Irish Prime Minister Simon Harris said in a statement on Tuesday.

Israel has repeatedly condemned the decision, saying it bolsters Hamas, the militant Islamist group that led the deadly Oct. 7 attack on Israel that triggered the war in the Hamas-governed Gaza Strip.

“Sanchez, when you… recognize a Palestinian state, you are complicit in incitement to genocide against the Jewish people and in war crimes,” Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz wrote on X on Tuesday.

(Reuters)

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