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Spain, Ireland, Norway Recognizes Palestinian Statehood


MADRID, Reuters:  Spain, Ireland and Norway has officially recognised a Palestinian state, despite an angry reaction from Israel, which has found itself increasingly isolated after seven months of conflict in Gaza.

By joining more than 140 of the 193 member-states of the United Nations that recognise a Palestinian state, Madrid, Dublin and Oslo said they sought to accelerate efforts to secure a ceasefire in Israel’s war with Hamas in Gaza.

“This is a historic decision that has a single objective: that Israelis and Palestinians achieve peace,” Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said in a televised address before a cabinet meeting that will formally approve the measure.

Spain will recognise a unified Palestinian state, including the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, under the Palestinian National Authority with East Jerusalem as its capital, he said.

The Palestinian Authority, which exercises limited self-rule in the West Bank under Israeli military occupation, has welcomed the decision.

Sanchez said Madrid will not recognise any changes to pre-1967 borders unless agreed to by both parties.

“It’s the only way of advancing toward what everyone recognises as the only possible solution to achieve a peaceful future, one of a Palestinian state that lives side by side with the Israeli state in peace and security,” he added.

Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs said last week it would upgrade its representative office in Ramallah in the West Bank to an embassy and appoint an ambassador and upgrade the status of the Palestinian mission in Ireland to an embassy.

The three countries say they hope their decision will spur other European Union countries to follow suit.

Israel has repeatedly condemned the move, insisting that it bolsters Hamas, which staged the Oct. 7 attack on Israel from its Gaza base.