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Ireland, Spain and Norway recognise Palestinian State

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In coordinated announcements, Ireland and Spain, plus non-EU member Norway have announced that they will recognise Palestine as a state from 28 May. Israel is recalling it Ambassadors from Dublin, Madrid and Oslo ‘for consultations’. It accused Ireland, long seen as the most pro-Palestinian member of the European Union of undermining its sovereignty and endangering its security.

The Irish Taoiseach, Simon Harris, said he was confident other countries would now follow suit. “This is an historic and important day for Ireland and for Palestine,” he said, recalling his own country’s struggle for independence. “On January 21 1919, Ireland asked the world to recognise our rights to be an independent state. Our message to the free nations of the world was a plea for international recognition of our independence, emphasising our distinct national identity, our historical struggle, and our rights to self-determination and justice. Today, we use the same language to support the recognition of Palestine as a state”.

Israel has issued a video aimed at the Irish public, claiming that recognising a Palestinian state “will lead to more terrorism” and “jeopardise any prospects for peace”.”Ireland, the possibility of recognising a Palestinian state risks turning you into a pawn in the hands of Iran and Hamas. Such a move will only strengthen Hamas and weaken an already dysfunctional Palestinian authority. The fact that Hamas leaders are thanking you should serve as a wake-up call”, it states.

The Taoiseach said Hamas is not the Palestinian people and a two-state solution is the only way out of generational violence. “To the people of Israel, I say that Ireland recognises the state of Israel and condemns the barbaric acts carried out by Hamas in October”, he stated, adding that Ireland was offering hope to Palestine “in its darkest hour”.

The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs called the three countries’ action a “significant step, Spain, Norway and Ireland have once again demonstrated their unwavering commitment to the two-state solution and to delivering the long overdue justice to the Palestinian people.

“Further, the recognitions of Spain, Norway and Ireland, are in line with international law and all United Nations relevant resolutions, which will in turn contribute positively to all international efforts towards ending the Israeli Illegal occupation and achieving peace and stability in the region.”

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Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz said the decision “sends a message to the Palestinians and the world: terrorism pays. After the Hamas terror organisation carried out the largest massacre of Jews since the Holocaust, after committing heinous sexual crimes witnessed by the world, these countries chose to reward Hamas and Iran by recognising a Palestinian state”.

In Madrid, the Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, said Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu is “still playing deaf ears… he is still bombing hospitals and schools and punishing women and children with hunger and cold”, adding that a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine is in danger of never existing. We cannot allow this. We have an obligation to act, in Palestine like in Ukraine, without double standards.

Norweigian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre said in Oslo that there “will be no peace in the Middle East without a two-state solution. There can be no two-state solution without a Palestinian state. In other words, a Palestinian state is a prerequisite for achieving peace in the Middle East”.

Back in Dublin, the Foreign Minister, Tánaiste Micheal Martin that on Sunday, he would travel to Brussels to meet more than 40 Arab, European and other international partners, “to discuss how recognition can make a concrete, practical impact to ending this horrible conflict and implementing a two state solution, based on a comprehensive vision of piece that the Arab states have developed”. 

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