Backlash Brews: Israel's Fury As These THREE European Nations Take Stand For Palestinian Statehood

By Jennifer Wentworth | Thursday, 23 May 2024 05:15 AM
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Image Credit : Reuters

In a significant development, the prime ministers of Norway, Ireland, and Spain have announced their countries' recognition of an independent Palestinian state.

This move is seen as an attempt to foster a peaceful resolution to a conflict that has been ongoing for over seven decades.

Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere, during a press conference, emphasized the importance of preserving the concept of two states co-existing peacefully. He said, "In the middle of a war, with tens of thousands of dead and injured, we must keep alive the only thing that can provide a safe home for both Israelis and Palestinians: two states that can live in peace with each other," as reported by Reuters.

Spain's Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, announced via social media that his country will officially recognize a Palestinian state in the Council of Ministers on May 28, according to a CNBC translation.

In a similar vein, Irish Prime Minister Simon Harris confirmed the news, stating, "Today, Ireland, Norway, and Spain are announcing that we recognize the state of Palestine. Each of us will now undertake whatever national steps are necessary to give effect to that decision." Harris also expressed optimism about other countries following their lead in the near future.

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The concept of an independent Palestinian state was first declared unilaterally by Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in November 1988, with East Jerusalem as its capital. Prior to this recent development, six European countries, namely Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Ukraine, and the Czech Republic, had recognized a Palestinian state, according to the World Population Review.

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However, this decision has not been without its repercussions. Israel, in response to the recognition of Palestinian statehood by Ireland and Norway, recalled its ambassadors from these countries. Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz, referencing the Oct. 7 terror attack by the Palestinian militant group Hamas, stated on the X social media platform, "Today's decision sends a message to the Palestinians and the world: Terrorism pays." He further warned that if Spain proceeds with its intention to recognize a Palestinian state, it would face similar consequences.

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The Gaza Strip, which fell under the control of Hamas following a complete takeover in 2007, has been the epicenter of the Israel-Hamas conflict, resulting in the death of over 35,000 people, according to Palestinian health authorities.

The United States, a close ally of Israel, has previously expressed support for a "revitalized" version of the Palestinian National Authority (PA) and recognized its importance in reestablishing stability in the broader Middle Eastern region, which is currently threatened by potential conflict spillover.

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The international community has largely supported a two-state resolution to the conflict, which would lead to the creation of an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel. However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has resisted this approach, arguing in a recent CNBC interview that a nascent Palestinian nation would "immediately be taken over by Hamas and Iran." He instead advocates for a post-war outcome that gives Israel "responsibility of overall security" over the Gaza enclave.

In response to a question over Berlin's support for a two-state solution, a German Foreign Ministry spokesperson said Wednesday, "An independent Palestinian state remains a firm goal of German foreign policy," according to Reuters.

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