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21 June, 2024
 
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Politico: Ireland, Spain, and Norway to recognize Palestine

The move, sparking an Israeli backlash, is a diplomatic shift aimed to encourage renewed peace talks

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Ireland, Spain, and Norway announced on Wednesday their decision to officially recognize Palestine as a sovereign state starting next week, a move that has provoked a strong reaction from Israel.

In Dublin, Irish Prime Minister Simon Harris drew parallels between Palestine’s quest for statehood and Ireland’s own fight for independence from Britain. However, Harris emphasized that Ireland supports renewed diplomacy between Israel and the Palestinian Authority and does not endorse Hamas.

In response to these announcements, Israel declared it would recall its ambassadors from Ireland and Norway immediately. Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz criticized the move, arguing it sends a message that terrorism is rewarded, particularly following recent violent events involving Hamas.

Prime Minister Harris defended the decision, stating it was intended to offer hope and demonstrate that an alternative to Hamas exists. Irish Foreign Minister Micheál Martin added that the recognition should motivate Israel to engage in direct negotiations with the Palestinian Authority as equals.

Barry Andrews, an Irish member of the European Parliament, expressed hope that this move would encourage the EU to collectively recognize Palestinian statehood based on 1967 borders.

Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre and Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide also confirmed their recognition of Palestine, specifying that the territorial borders should revert to those before the 1967 Six-Day War.

In Madrid, Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez clarified that the recognition of Palestine is not against Israel or its people and distanced the decision from any support of Hamas.

The announcements from Ireland, Spain, and Norway reflect ongoing discussions within the EU, with Ireland engaging with Spain, Slovenia, Belgium, Norway, and Malta on the matter. Until now, Sweden was the only EU country to unilaterally recognize Palestine. Globally, more than 140 out of 193 UN member states recognize Palestine.

[Information from Politico]

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