Ireland, Norway, Spain to recognize Palestinian state next week

Spain and Ireland joined Norway in similar announcments.

Spain, Norway and Ireland announced on Wednesday that they would recognize an independent Palestinian state next week, taking aim at Israel for its decades of occupation in the area and saying there can be no peace without a two-state solution in the region, according to The New York Times.

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“In the midst of a war, with tens of thousands killed and injured, we must keep alive the only alternative that offers a political solution for Israelis and Palestinians alike: Two states, living side by side, in peace and security,” Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store said.

“There will be no peace in the Middle East without a two-state solution. There can be no two-state solution without a Palestinian state,” he added.

Israel was quick to respond, with Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz immediately recalling the Israeli ambassadors to Norway and Ireland, The BBC reported.

“I am sending a clear message today: Israel will not be complacent against those who undermine its sovereignty and endanger its security,” Katz said.

At least 140 members of the United Nations recognize Palestinian statehood. The United States does not.

The secretary-general of the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) called the announcements a “historic moment.”

Hussein al-Sheikh added that recognition of a Palestinian state “is the path to stability, security and peace in the region.”

The PLO, the main representative of the Palestinians, first declared the establishment of the State of Palestine in 1988, declaring Jerusalem its capital.

Palestinians have limited self-government through the Palestinian Authority (PA) in parts of the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

The announcements come some seven months after Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7, 2023, killing more than 1,200 and taking hundreds hostage. Israel, in response, launched a ground and air war against the terror group, vowing it would continue the fighting until Hamas is defeated. More than 35,000 people in the Gaza Strip have since been killed, according to Reuters.

Bassem Naim, a senior figure in Hamas praised the announcements and said in a statement, “These successive recognitions are the direct result of this brave resistance and the legendary steadfastness of the Palestinian people.

“We believe this will be a turning point in the international position on the Palestinian issue.”

Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip in 2007.

Irish Prime Minister Simon Harris said his country’s announcement celebrated “a historic and important day for Ireland and for the Palestinians,” The Washington Post reported.

“I’m confident that further countries will join us in taking this important step in the coming weeks,” Harris said.

Spain’s leader Pedro Sanchez said the recognition reflected public opinion in his country and that “This recognition is not against Israel, is not against the Jews,” he said.

“We know that this initiative won’t bring back the past and the lives lost in Palestine, but we believe that it will give the Palestinians two things that are very important for their present and their future: dignity and hope,” Sánchez said.

Check back for more on this developing story.

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