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Ireland, Norway, Spain to recognise Palestine as independent state



The leaders of Norway, Ireland, and Spain have announced that their countries will formally recognise Palestine as an independent state in the interest of “peace in the Middle East”.

 

Jonas Store, Norway’s prime minister, said a two-state solution was also in Israel’s best interest.

 

Store, who spoke on Wednesday, added that Norway’s formal recognition of Palestine as a state will be made on May 28.

 

“There cannot be peace in the Middle East if there is no recognition,” the prime minister said.

 

 “In the midst of a war, with tens of thousands killed and injured [in Gaza], 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.”

 

Pedro Sanchez, Spain’s prime minister, also slated May 28 as the date when the country’s council of ministers would recognise an independent Palestinian state.

 

Sanchez accused Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, of putting the two-state solution in “danger” with his policy of “pain and destruction” in Gaza, adding that Spain’s recognition is a decision “for peace, for justice and for coherence”.

 

“Spain will be accompanied by other European countries,” he said.

 

“The more there are of us, the sooner we will achieve a ceasefire. We are not going to give up. Recognition is not just the end, it’s just the beginning.

 

“This recognition is not an attack on anyone, nor a recognition against the Jewish people, nor is it in favour of Hamas.”

 

Shortly after Norway’s announcement, Ireland’s Prime Minister Simon Harris said his country would also recognise a Palestinian state, but did not specify when.

 

 “Today, Ireland, Norway, and Spain are announcing that we recognise the state of Palestine,” Harris said at a news conference.

 

“Each of us will now undertake whatever national steps are necessary to give effect to that decision.”

 

Harris said he is confident other countries will take similar decisions in the coming weeks and called it “a historic and important day for Ireland and for Palestine”.

 

Malta and Slovenia are reportedly expected to make similar announcements.

 

‘ISRAEL WILL NOT LET THIS GO QUIETLY’

 

After the announcements, Israel immediately recalled its ambassadors in the European countries.

 

 “I am sending an unequivocal message to Ireland and Norway — Israel will not let this go quietly,” Israel Katz, the foreign minister, said.

 

“Ireland and Norway intend to send a message to the Palestinians and the entire world — terror pays.

 

 “The twisted step by these states is an affront to the victims of October 7. It also harms efforts to bring back the 128 hostages.”

 

Katz said the decision makes peace less likely and undermines Israel’s right to self-defense, adding that the “parade of stupidity” would not deter the Jewish nation from achieving its goals of toppling Hamas and bringing back the hostages.

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