Ireland, Norway and Spain to recognise State of Palestine on May 28 - GulfToday

Ireland, Norway and Spain to recognise State of Palestine on May 28

Ireland's Prime Minister Simon Harris (left), flanked by Ireland's Minister of Foreign Affairs Michel Martin, delivers a speech in Dublin to recognise the state of Palestine on Wednesday. AFP

Rafah, Palestinian Territories: Israel reacted with fury after three European countries said on Wednesday they would recognise a Palestinian state, more than seven months into the devastating Gaza war.

Ireland, Norway and Spain said they would formally recognise the State of Palestine on May 28.

Israel strongly opposes the move, arguing that it amounts to "rewarding terrorism" after the Palestinian group Hamas launched its unprecedented October 7 attack on Israel which sparked the bloodiest ever Gaza war.

Israel said it was recalling its envoys to Ireland and Norway for "urgent consultations" and was expected to do the same with its ambassador to Spain.

Foreign Minister Israel Katz charged that "the twisted step of these countries is an injustice to the memory of the 7/10 victims."

 Norway's Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store prepares to announce during a press conference in Oslo. AFP

Most Western governments including the United States say they are willing to one day recognise Palestinian statehood – but not before agreement is reached on thorny issues like its final borders and the status of Jerusalem.

However, Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez charged that his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu's campaign of "pain and destruction" in the Gaza Strip was now putting the two-state solution in "danger".

Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store said "recognition of Palestine is a means of supporting the moderate forces which have been losing ground in this protracted and brutal conflict".

"In the midst of a war, with tens of thousands killed and injured, 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."

  Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez looks on after delivering a speech in Madrid. AFP

According to the Palestinian Authority, which rules parts of the occupied West Bank, 142 of the 193 UN member countries already recognise a Palestinian state.

A senior Hamas figure, Bassem Naim, hailed the three European governments for their decisions.

"These successive recognitions are the direct result of this brave resistance and the legendary steadfastness of the Palestinian people," he told AFP.

"We believe this will be a turning point in the international position on the Palestinian issue."

Irish Prime Minister Simon Harris called the October 7 attack "barbaric" but added that "a two-state solution is the only way out of the generational cycles of violence, retaliation and resentment".

Agence France-Presse

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