Three European nations recognize Palestinian state, earning Arab support and Israeli scorn

Three European nations recognize Palestinian state, earning Arab support and Israeli scorn
Photo: Gaza Rally in Ohio, Nov 2023 / Source: Creative Commons/Paul Becker 

Three European countries: Spain, Norway and Ireland announced on Wednesday they would formally recognize a Palestinian state on May 28. 

The move triggered widespread support in the Arab and Muslim world but a strong rebuke from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who called it a “reward for terror”. He swiftly recalled his ambassadors from the three countries.  

On a practical level, the recognition of a Palestinian state is largely symbolic. It fosters diplomatic relations and the establishment of embassies in Palestinian territory but the impact will be minimal in the short term. 

More importantly, recognition of Palestine is viewed as the first step towards a two-state solution – something Netanyahu has long opposed. 

Other European nations including Belgium, Portugal and Slovenia appear poised to join in formally recognizing a Palestinian state. 

The United States and many other western nations say they are willing to recognize Palestinian statehood one day but not before issues including the status of Jerusalem are resolved. 

Increasing support for a Palestinian state comes amid greater criticism of Israel’s actions in Gaza that have left more than 35,000 Palestinians dead. Earlier this week, the International Criminal Court Prosecutor called for the arrest of Netanyahu and Israeli defense minister Yoav Gallant along with three leaders of Hamas. 

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