3 European countries recognize Palestine as a state

Three European countries on Wednesday decided to recognize Palestine as a state.

The formal recognition of Palestine as a state by Norway, Ireland and Spain will enter into force on May 28, 2024

“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,” Norway's 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. In other words, a Palestinian state is a prerequisite for achieving peace in the Middle East,” Store added.

Recognition of Palestine “sends a strong message to other countries to follow the example of Norway and a number of other European countries and recognise the state of Palestine,” the prime minister said.

Ireland’s Prime Minister Simon Harris announced that his country officially recognizes the Palestinian state.

“This is a historic and important day for Ireland and for Palestine,” Harris told a news conference. “I'm confident that further countries will join us in taking this step.”

Harris added that he has “spoken with a number of other leaders and counterparts and I'm confident that further countries will join us in taking this important step in the coming weeks.”

Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, for his part, said that his country will recognize the Palestinian state next Tuesday.

Sanchez said that Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is refusing to listen to the international community as he continues to bomb civilian infrastructure and block desperately needed aid.

He added that the recognition of Palestine “is not the end, it’s only the beginning,” and that Spain will continue pressuring the international community to take action.

Following those countries' decisions, Belgium's Development Cooperation Minister Caroline Gennez wrote on X: “After Norway and Spain, Belgium must also decide today to recognise Palestinian statehood. I will plead for this again today, in line with the coalition agreement. I count on support from all colleagues. We must not miss this historic opportunity.”

The Israeli Foreign Ministry announced recalling its ambassadors from Ireland and Norway over the two countries' decision.

Israel has continued its brutal offensive on the Gaza Strip since Oct. 7, 2023 despite a UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate cease-fire in the enclave.

More than 35,600 Palestinians have been killed, the vast majority of whom have been women and children, and nearly 79,900 others injured since last October following an attack by the Palestinian group Hamas.

More than seven months into the Israeli war, vast swathes of Gaza lay in ruins amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water and medicine.

Israel is accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice, which has ordered it to ensure that its forces do not commit acts of genocide and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt