Spain, Norway, Ireland endorse Palestine state

2024-05-29 09:47:21 Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

Spain, Norway and Ireland formally recognized the State of Palestine on Tuesday in a coordinated effort by the three western European nations designed to mount international pressure on Israel, which slammed the diplomatic move that will have no immediate impact on its assaults in Gaza.

With the number of European countries recognizing the State of Palestine continuing to grow, Israel and its staunch ally, the United States, are becoming more isolated than ever in the face of increasing acceptance of a two-state solution as the only route to peace.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez told his nation in a televised address from Madrid that "this is a historic decision that has a single goal, and that is to help Israelis and Palestinians achieve peace".

Ireland and Norway joined Spain in formalizing a decision they had jointly announced the previous week.

Israel's Foreign Minister Israel Katz quickly lashed out at Spain on X, saying Sanchez's government was "being complicit in inciting genocide against Jews and war crimes".

Last week's announcement by Spain, Ireland and Norway triggered an angry response from Israel, which summoned the nations' ambassadors in Tel Aviv to the foreign ministry.

Several other European countries, including Malta and Slovenia, have also signaled their intent to recognize a Palestinian state. Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said last week that Belgium was waiting for the "right moment".

Slovenia's Prime Minister Robert Golob said on Monday his government will decide on the recognition of a Palestinian state on Thursday and forward its decision to parliament for final approval, The Associated Press reported.

Shada Islam, a Brussels-based commentator on EU affairs, suggested that the recognition by Norway, Ireland, and Spain is "almost certainly" going to be followed by Belgium, Malta and Slovenia in the coming weeks, Xinhua reported.

"The move by Spain, Ireland and Norway will further isolate Israel in the UN … Their decision sends a strong message to Palestinian people that at least some EU member states have retained their moral compass," Islam told Xinhua.

In March, Slovenia and Malta signed a statement with Spain and Ireland expressing their willingness to recognize a Palestinian state.

Awni Khattab, a displaced Gazan, said he hoped the recognition would lead to territorial sovereignty for Palestinians. "We hope this decision will be implemented and that a Palestinian state will be established along the (June) 1967 borders," he told Agence France-Presse.

Increasingly isolated

Despite angry reactions from Israel, which has found itself increasingly isolated after more than seven months of conflict in Gaza, calls are growing louder for a two-state solution to the crisis in the Middle East.

The two-state solution and the establishment of a "credible Palestinian state" will serve "not just the interest of the Palestinians that delivers their right to self-determination", said Saudi Arabian Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, who was in Brussels.

The two-state solution adopted in UN resolutions has met resistance from Israel and the U.S. for decades.

The White House said on May 22 that U.S. President Joe Biden believes a Palestinian state should be achieved through negotiations, rather than unilateral recognition, Reuters reported. The Palestinian Authority has slammed the U.S. for its blind support of Israel.

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