Norway, Ireland, Spain to recognise Palestinian state

Leaders of Norway, Ireland and Spain announced on Wednesday, May 22, that their countries will recognise a Palestinian state within days. Their move drew condemnation from Israel and the calling back of ambassadors from Oslo and Dublin for immediate consultations.

The leaders of Norway, Ireland and Spain announced on Wednesday that their countries will recognise a Palestinian state within days, reports The Times of Israel.

In the past weeks, several European Union countries have indicated their plan to declare their recognition of a Palestinian state, arguing in favour of a two-state solution.

Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said their countries would make recognition official on May 28, in a joint move with Ireland. Ireland’s leader, Simon Harris, said he expected other countries to join and support Palestinian statehood.

Earlier this month, Slovenia initiated the procedure for the recognition of a Palestinian state as a form of leverage to end the conflict in Gaza. Prime Minister Robert Golob said June 13 is the latest his country would recognise a Palestinian state.
While these leaders claim there cannot be peace in the Middle East if there is no recognition of a Palestinian state and assert that their decision was rooted in a belief in freedom, justice and peace, their move sparked a major diplomatic row with Israel.
Jerusalem recalled its ambassadors from Ireland and Norway for immediate consultations and threatened to do the same with its envoy to Spain. Israel will consider future steps against the three countries, an Israeli official said.

„I am sending an unequivocal message to Ireland and Norway — Israel will not let this go quietly,” Foreign Minister Israel Katz said.

Israel has argued that the unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state now would be viewed as a reward for the October 7 Hamas onslaught in southern Israel.

Ireland and Norway intend to send a message to the Palestinians and the entire world — terror pays,” Katz said, adding that they are „giving a prize to Hamas and Iran.”

The United States has long opposed Palestinian efforts to unilaterally secure statehood status, arguing that the goal should be achieved through direct negotiations with Israel, adding that the Palestinian Authority needs to undergo significant reforms before it is recognised as a state.

The moves by the individual countries do not affect EU recognition of a Palestinian state, as all 27 member states must make that decision unanimously.

The recognition of a Palestinian state by the three countries is the latest in a string of diplomatic setbacks for Israel as it battles Hamas. On Tuesday, the International Criminal Court announced it was seeking arrest warrants for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant for potential war crimes, in addition to three Hamas leaders.


Photo credit: Paul Faith/AFP