Palestinian State

 EU States Announce Formal Recognition of Palestinian State Amid Rising Tensions with Israel

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In a landmark decision, Spain, Norway, and Ireland have officially recognized the state of Palestine, a move they describe as essential for peace in the Middle East. This action, championed by Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, asserts that the establishment of a Palestinian state is the “only route to peace” between Israelis and Palestinians.

Historical Justice and a Path to Peace

Speaking before the Spanish cabinet vote, Prime Minister Sanchez emphasized that the recognition is a matter of historical justice. “The only route towards establishing peace is the establishment of a Palestinian state, living side by side with the state of Israel,” he said. Sanchez highlighted that the Palestinian state must be viable, with the West Bank and Gaza connected by a corridor, and East Jerusalem as its capital. The Spanish government has also stated that it will not recognize any changes to pre-1967 borders unless agreed upon by both parties.( Palestinian State )

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Spain’s government spokesperson Pilar Alegria reiterated that the decision’s primary goal is to aid in achieving peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

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International Support and Reactions

Norway and Ireland have swiftly followed Spain’s lead. Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide hailed the recognition as a milestone in Norway’s relationship with Palestine. Ireland’s Prime Minister Simon Harris described the move as a signal to the world that practical actions can sustain the hope for a two-state solution.( Palestinian State )

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However, the recognition has been met with vehement opposition from Israel. Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz accused Sanchez of inciting genocide against Jews, likening Spanish officials’ statements to those of Hamas and Iranian leaders. This reaction underscores the growing rift between Israel and some EU states over the ongoing conflict in Gaza.( Palestinian State )

EU-Wide Implications and Potential Sanctions

The decision has sparked significant discussions within the EU, with some members contemplating sanctions against Israel. Irish Foreign Minister Michel Martin noted that this marks the first substantial EU discussion on potential sanctions related to Israel’s actions in Gaza. Josep Borrell, the EU’s foreign policy chief, has also supported the International Criminal Court’s efforts to hold Israeli leaders accountable for alleged war crimes.

Global Context

Palestine is already recognized by 144 countries. The addition of Spain, Norway, and Ireland, all influential European nations, bolsters Palestinian efforts in the international arena. Slovenia and Malta have indicated intentions to follow suit, potentially increasing pressure on other EU heavyweights like France and Germany to reconsider their positions. ( Palestinian State )

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Prime Minister Sanchez clarified that Spain’s decision is not against Israel but aimed at fostering peace. He reiterated Spain’s condemnation of the October 7 Hamas attacks and stressed that recognition supports moderate forces advocating a two-state solution.

Conclusion

The formal recognition of Palestine by Spain, Norway, and Ireland represents a significant development in international diplomacy concerning the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. While it intensifies tensions with Israel, it also amplifies calls for a renewed commitment to a peaceful resolution based on the two-state solution. As more countries consider similar recognitions, the international community faces increasing pressure to address and resolve the longstanding conflict.( Palestinian State )

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