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Israel does not let up after the recognition of the State of Palestine by European countries

Israel does not take off on Thursday after the decision of three European countries to recognize the State of Palestine, in full war between his army and Palestinian Hamas in the Gaza Strip where the bombings continue.

Early Thursday, an AFP team reported strikes in the Rafah sector (south), while witnesses noted intense bombings in Gaza City, in the north of the ravaged territory by more than seven months of relentless war.

Spain, Ireland and Norway announced on Wednesday their decision to jointly recognize a Palestinian state in the hope of leading other countries to do the same, while the two-state solution is, according to Madrid, ” in danger”.

The creation of a viable Palestinian state appears to be a very uncertain prospect due in particular to the absence of talks in this direction and Jewish colonization in the occupied West Bank.

But this recognition is considered a diplomatic victory for the Palestinian Authority of Mahmoud Abbas while the State of Palestine is recognized, according to it, by 142 of the 193 member states of the UN, mainly non-Western.

And it represents a new setback for Israel after International Criminal Court prosecutor Karim Khan requested arrest warrants against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for alleged “crimes against humanity”, as well as against the leaders of Hamas.

“Israel will not remain silent on this question” of recognition, thundered Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz, announcing the summons of Hamas's ambassadors. Spain, Ireland and Norway, and the recall for consultations of the Israeli ambassadors in these three countries.

After their announcement, Colombia confirmed its plan to open an embassy in Ramallah, a city in the occupied West Bank where Mahmoud Abbas' Palestinian Authority is headquartered.

Israel does not let up after the recognition of the State of Palestine by European countries

Countries that recognize the State of Palestine © AFP – Valentin RAKOVSKY, Samuel BARBOSA

In early May, the president of Colombia, whose country was a key ally of Israel in Latin America, announced the severance of diplomatic ties between the two countries, calling the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a ” genocidal” in its conduct of the war in Gaza.

– “Reward” for Hamas –

Recognition of the State of Palestine is “a reward for terrorism,” said Benjamin Netanyahu, a fierce opponent of the idea of ​​such a state alongside Israel. “We cannot give this Evil a State.”

“After the terrorist organization Hamas perpetrated the largest massacre of Jews since the Shoah (. ..) these countries chose to reward Hamas (…) and to recognize a Palestinian state”, underlined Mr. Katz.

The three European states have announced their decision as the war rages between Israel and Hamas since an unprecedented attack launched on October 7, 2023 by commandos of the Palestinian Islamist movement infiltrated from the neighboring Gaza Strip in southern Israel.

The attack resulted in the deaths of more than 1,170 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP count based on official Israeli data. Of the 252 people taken as hostages on October 7, 124 are still being held in Gaza, including 37 dead, according to the army.

Israel does not let up after the recognition of the State of Palestine by European countries

Palestinians around a fishing boat destroyed by an Israeli strike in Rafah, in the south of the Gaza Strip, May 22, 2024 © AFP – Eyad BABA

The families of five Israeli soldiers held hostage in Gaza on Wednesday authorized the broadcast of images of their capture, showing the young women, some with bloody faces, sitting on the ground in their pajamas, their hands tied behind their backs by their captors, before being taken away by jeep.

In response to the attack, Mr Netanyahu vowed to wipe out Hamas, with its army launching a devastating offensive in the Gaza Strip , where Hamas, considered a terrorist organization by Israel, the European Union and the United States, took power in 2007.

At least 35,709 Palestinians, mostly civilians, died in this offensive, according to the Ministry of Health of the government of the Palestinian territory led by Hamas.

– “Empty shells” –

The Palestinian Islamist movement hailed recognition on Wednesday as an “important step” and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the only official representative of the Palestinians on the international scene, spoke of “historic moments”. Arab countries also welcomed it.

But in Rafah, a town in southern Gaza subject to daily Israeli bombings, Ahmed Ziad, 35, denounced ” empty shells if America and other European countries (…) do not support such recognition.

Main support of Israel, American President Joe Biden , reiterated that a “Palestinian state (must) emerge through direct negotiations between the parties, not through unilateral recognition.”

– “More targeted ” in Rafah –

Israel does not let up after the recognition of the State of Palestine by European countries

Palestinians walk in a neighborhood of the town of al-Zawaida destroyed by an Israeli strike, in the central Gaza Strip, May 22, 2024 © AFP – Bashar TALEB

These latest developments come as Israeli soldiers continue their ground operations “against Hamas targets” in areas of Rafah.

The The United States, which has threatened to stop certain arms deliveries to Israel in the event of a large-scale ground offensive in Rafah where more than a million civilians are trapped, ruled on Wednesday that the operation was now “more targeted and limited”, while expressing concern about the fate of civilians there.

By entering with their tanks in eastern Rafah, the military also took control on the Palestinian side of the eponymous crossing point with Egypt, the main entry point for humanitarian aid, then closed it.

Since then, the delivery of aid has almost stopped. stop while according to the UN 1.1 million Palestinians in Gaza face “catastrophic levels of hunger”.

All rights of reproduction and representation reserved. © (2024) Agence France-Presse

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116