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Ireland, Spain and Norway recognizing a Palestinian state

Norway, Ireland and Spain announced Wednesday that they recognized a Palestinian state, a historic move that drew condemnation from Israel and jubilation from the Palestinians. Israel immediately ordered the return of its ambassadors from Norway and Ireland and appeared ready to do the same with its ambassador to Spain.

Formal recognition by the three nations of an independent Palestinian state will come into effect on May 28, Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide said at a news conference on Wednesday, Reuters news agency reports.

It was a whirlwind cascade of announcements. First there was Norway, whose Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre declared that “there can be no peace in the Middle East without recognition”, adding that “by recognizing a Palestinian state, Norway supports the Arab peace plan.

Several European Union countries have indicated in recent weeks that they are considering doing the same, arguing that a two-state solution is essential for lasting peace in the region. The decision could generate momentum for recognition of a Palestinian state by other EU countries and could prompt further action at the United Nations, deepening Israel’s isolation.

Norway was first with its announcement

Norway, which is not a member of the European Union but echoes its approach, is a strong supporter of a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians.

Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store, right, next to Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide, announces during a press conference on May 22, 2024 in Oslo that Norway recognizes Palestine as an independent state as of May 28.


“Terrorism was committed by Hamas and militant groups that do not support a two-state solution and the State of Israel,” the Norwegian head of government said. “Palestine has a fundamental right to an independent state.”

The move comes as Israeli forces carried out attacks on the northern and southern borders of the Gaza Strip in May, provoking a new exodus of hundreds of thousands of people, and severely limiting the flow of aid, thus increasing the risk of starvation.

The Scandinavian country “will therefore consider Palestine as an independent state with all the rights and obligations that this implies”, declared Gahr Støre.

This development comes more than 30 years after the signing of the first Oslo Accord in 1993. Since then, “the Palestinians have made important steps towards a two-state solution,” the Norwegian government said.

It says the World Bank determined that a Palestinian state met the key criteria to function as a state in 2011 and that national institutions had been put in place to provide the population with important services.

“The war in Gaza and the continued expansion of illegal settlements in the West Bank still mean that the situation in Palestine is more difficult than it has been in decades,” the Norwegian government said.

Ireland followed suit

Irish Prime Minister Simon Harris also made the announcement on Wednesday, saying it was a coordinated decision with Spain and Norway, “a historic and important day for Ireland and for Palestine.” He said the move was aimed at helping resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through a two-state solution.

Irish Prime Minister Simon Harris, center, flanked by Irish Foreign Minister Michel Martin, right, and Irish Transport Minister Eamon Ryan, delivers a speech during a press conference on May 22, 2024 in Dublin, in which he declares that their nation does indeed recognize a Palestinian state. May 28, 2024.

PAUL FOI / AFP via Getty Images

Harris said he believed other countries would join Norway, Spain and Ireland in recognizing a Palestinian state “in the coming weeks.”

Spain joined

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, his country’s socialist leader since 2018, made the expected announcement to his country’s Parliament on Wednesday.

He spent months visiting countries in Europe and the Middle East to build support for recognition of a Palestinian state, as well as a possible ceasefire in Gaza. He has repeatedly stated that he is determined to make this decision.

“We know that this initiative will not bring back the past and the lives lost in Palestine, but we believe that it will give Palestinians two very important things for their present and their future: dignity and hope,” Sánchez said.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced in Madrid on May 22, 2024 that his country’s council of ministers would recognize an independent Palestinian state as of May 28, 2024.

Violeta Santos Moura / REUTERS

“This recognition is not against anyone, it is not against the Israeli people,” Sánchez added, while recognizing that it will most likely cause diplomatic tensions with Tel Aviv. “It is an act in favor of peace, justice and moral coherence.”

Sánchez said the move was necessary to support the viability of a two-state solution which he said “is in serious danger” with the war in Gaza.

“I have spent weeks and months speaking with leaders inside and outside the region and while it is clear that Prime Minister (Benjamin) Netanyahu does not have a peace plan for Palestine, even if the fight against the terrorist group Hamas is ongoing,” the Spanish leader said.

Earlier this month, Spanish Foreign Minister José Albares said he had informed US Secretary of State Antony Blinken of his government’s intention to recognize a Palestinian state.

In response to the rapidly evolving situation, Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz ordered his country’s ambassadors from Ireland and Norway to immediately return to Israel, and earlier threatened to do the same with his ambassador to Spain if he adopted the same position.

“Ireland and Norway intend to send a message today to the Palestinians and to the entire world: terrorism pays,” Katz said.

He said the recognition could hamper efforts to return Israeli hostages held in Gaza and make a ceasefire less likely by “rewarding jihadists from Hamas and Iran.”

The reactions begin

A senior Hamas official, involved in the war with Israel in Gaza, said Wednesday that the “courageous resistance” of the Palestinian people has prompted Norway, Ireland and Spain to recognize a Palestinian state, reports Agence France -Press.

“These successive recognitions are the direct result of this courageous resistance and the legendary firmness of the Palestinian people. (…) We believe that this will mark a turning point in the international position on the Palestinian question,” declared Bassem Naim, senior official from the Hamas political office. member, told AFP.

The Palestine Liberation Organization, seen around the world as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, called the steps taken by Norway, Ireland and Spain “historic moments in which the free world triumphs for truth and justice”, according to AFP, citing an article on X. by Hussein al-Sheikh, secretary general of the PLO executive committee.

Meanwhile, Israel’s far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir visited the Al Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem, declaring that the disputed holy site belongs “only to the state of ‘Israel’.

Ben-Gvir said the visit was a response to the decision by Norway, Ireland and Spain. “We will not even allow a declaration on a Palestinian state,” he said.

The hilltop complex is revered by Jews and Muslims, and conflicting claims have led to numerous waves of violence in the past.

Israel allows Jews to visit the complex, but not to pray there. But this visit risks being perceived throughout the world as a provocation.

News Source :
Gn world

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With a penchant for words, jack began writing at an early age. As editor-in-chief of his high school newspaper, he honed his skills telling impactful stories. Smith went on to study journalism at Columbia University, where he graduated top of his class. After interning at the New York Times, jack landed a role as a news writer. Over the past decade, he has covered major events like presidential elections and natural disasters. His ability to craft compelling narratives that capture the human experience has earned him acclaim. Though writing is his passion, jack also enjoys hiking, cooking and reading historical fiction in his free time. With an eye for detail and knack for storytelling, he continues making his mark at the forefront of journalism.
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