Spain, Ireland and Norway prepare to recognize Palestine

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Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said his cabinet would officially recognize Palestine on Tuesday, sparking a backlash from Israel.

Sánchez said the move – to be followed by Ireland and Norway later on Tuesday – was “not a decision we made against anyone” but part of efforts to end the war between Israel and Hamas.

“This is not only a matter of historical justice but also what is necessary to achieve peace,” he said in a televised speech outside the prime minister’s palace in the Spanish capital Madrid.

Arriving at a cabinet meeting where ministers will formally ratify Ireland’s decision to recognize a Palestinian state later on Tuesday, Taoiseach Simon Harris called on other countries to follow suit.

Palestinian flags fly over Irish government buildings. Harris told reporters “there are practical actions you can take as a country to maintain the hope and destination of a two-state solution at a time when others are trying bombed into sad oblivion.”

Two days after an Israeli airstrike killed dozens of Palestinians in a camp for displaced civilians in Rafah in Gaza, he condemned what he called “a new despicable and disgusting trend.” is emerging, where every now and then a particularly horrifying event seems to occur.” and the Israeli prime minister came out and described it as a tragic mistake. . . We need to use every lever available to achieve a ceasefire, an end to the violence.”

Spain’s move sparked an angry reaction from Israeliright-wing British government, with foreign minister Israel Katz accusing Sánchez of “complicity in inciting genocide and war crimes”.

Israeli politicians have exchanged harsh words with their counterparts in Spain, Norway and Ireland since the three countries announced plans to recognize Palestine last week.

That announcement boosted Israel recall his ambassadors from three countries and ban the Spanish consulate in Jerusalem from providing services to Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, which Palestinians see as the heart of a future state, but which Israel has occupied since 1967.

Israel also summoned the ambassadors of three countries in Israel to the country’s Foreign Ministry, where they were shown videos of the October 7 attack by Hamas militants on Israel that sparked the current war.

A man runs past graffiti that reads 'Free Palestine'
A graffiti with the words ‘Free Palestine’ in Guernica © Vincent West/Reuters

Most UN member states have recognized Palestinian statehood, and Palestine has also previously been recognized by several EU states, including Sweden, which acted alone in 2014. , and several Central and Eastern European members recognized the country before joining the EU.

Slovenia and Malta also suggested they could follow suit.

However, neither France nor Germany, the EU’s most powerful countries, nor the United States recognize Palestinian statehood, although they support a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

France’s foreign minister said last week that recognition was not “taboo” for Paris, but that such a decision must be “useful and allow a decisive step forward at the political level.”

Sánchez, one of the most active European leaders in pushing for recognition of a Palestinian state, said Spain’s move was based on “international respect” with no changes to the borders. 1967 border and East Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine.

Arab and Palestinian officials say recognition of a Palestinian state should be an important step to solidify moves toward a more lasting solution to the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict and strengthen future government in the occupied West Bank and Gaza.

They want the US and other Western powers to support full Palestinian membership in the United Nations through the Security Council. This month, however, the US opposed a resolution that would have paved the way for the Palestinians to become full members of the United Nations.


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