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Norway, Ireland, and Spain Announce Recognition of Palestinian State

posted on: May 22, 2024

Photo: From left, Irish Prime Minister Simon Harris, Spain’s President Pedro Sánchez, and Norway’s Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre are pictured.

Norway, Ireland, and Spain made historic yet largely symbolic declarations today, announcing their recognition of a Palestinian state. These decisions, while celebrated by Palestinians as affirmations of their longstanding quest for statehood, have exacerbated Israel’s isolation, particularly amid its ongoing conflict with Hamas in Gaza. The immediate aftermath saw Israel denounce the moves, leading to the recall of its ambassadors from the three European countries.

These recognitions come against the backdrop of a global landscape where over 140 countries, constituting more than two-thirds of the United Nations, have already acknowledged a Palestinian state. While they may not possess immediate legal ramifications, the series of announcements has the potential to generate momentum, especially as even close allies of Israel have increasingly criticized its actions in Gaza.

The timing of these recognitions coincided with another blow to Israel’s international standing as the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court signaled his intent to seek arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his defense minister. Additionally, the International Court of Justice is examining allegations of genocide, which Israel vehemently denies.

Reacting strongly, Israel recalled its ambassadors and summoned the envoys of Norway, Ireland, and Spain, accusing them of rewarding Hamas for its role in triggering the conflict through an attack on October 7. Foreign Minister Israel Katz condemned the European nations, stating that they were effectively honoring Hamas militants.

This attack by Hamas, which resulted in fatalities and hostages, was the catalyst for Israel’s military response, leading to thousands of Palestinian casualties. The subsequent ICC prosecutor’s move to seek arrest warrants for Hamas leaders added to the complexity and gravity of the situation.

Netanyahu’s government has consistently opposed the idea of Palestinian statehood, advocating instead for direct negotiations as the sole path to resolution. However, the international community, including the European Union, has long seen a two-state solution as the most viable option for peace. Recent indications from EU member states suggesting their inclination towards recognizing Palestine further underscore this sentiment.

The announcements by Norway, Spain, and Ireland, slated for May 28, reflect their historical engagement and advocacy for a Palestinian state. Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, who championed these recognitions during his diplomatic visits, framed them as acts promoting peace, justice, and moral consistency.

Despite the symbolic nature of these recognitions, they reflect a broader international sentiment calling for renewed efforts towards a peaceful resolution and the realization of Palestinian self-determination.

Complied by Arab America

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