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Spain, Ireland, Norway set to recognise Palestinian statehood

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Relations between the European Union and Israel took a nosedive Monday, the eve of the diplomatic recognition of a Palestinian state by EU members Ireland and Spain, with Madrid insisting that sanctions should be considered against Israel for its continued attacks in southern Gaza’s city of Rafah.

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz told Spain that its consulate in Jerusalem will not be allowed to help Palestinians.

By joining more than 140 of the 193 member-states of the United Nations that recognise a Palestinian state, Madrid, Dublin and Oslo said they sought to accelerate efforts to secure a ceasefire in Israel’s war with Hamas in Gaza.

“This is a historic decision that has a single objective: that Israelis and Palestinians achieve peace,” Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said in a televised address before a cabinet meeting that will formally approve the measure.

“Spain will recognise a unified Palestinian state, including the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, under the Palestinian National Authority with East Jerusalem as its capital”, he added.

The Palestinian Authority, which exercises limited self-rule in the West Bank under Israeli military occupation, has welcomed the decision, Reuters reported.

Sanchez said Madrid will not recognise any changes to pre-1967 borders unless agreed to by both parties.

“It’s the only way of advancing toward what everyone recognises as the only possible solution to achieve a peaceful future, one of a Palestinian state that lives side by side with the Israeli state in peace and security,” he added.

Meanwhile, Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs said last week it would upgrade its representative office in Ramallah in the West Bank to an embassy and appoint an ambassador and upgrade the status of the Palestinian mission in Ireland to an embassy.

The three countries say they hope their decision will spur other European Union countries to follow suit.

Though, Israel has repeatedly condemned the move, insisting that it bolsters Hamas, which staged the Oct. 7 attack on Israel from its Gaza base.

“Sanchez, when you… recognize a Palestinian state, you are complicit in incitement to genocide against the Jewish people and in war crimes,” Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz wrote on X on Tuesday.

The Palestinian flag was flying outside the Irish parliament as the government was set to approve the recognition in a cabinet meeting on Tuesday morning.

“The people of Ireland know that a two-state a solution is the only way to bring peace and stability to people in Israel, and to people in Palestine,” Prime Minister Simon Harris told journalists before the cabinet meeting.

 

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