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Recognition of the State of Palestine by Spain, Ireland and Norway

Madrid, Dublin and Oslo will formally recognize the State of Palestine on Tuesday, a decision provoking the fury of Israel, which sees it as a "price" awarded to Hamas in the middle of the war in the Gaza Strip.

“The recognition of the State of Palestine is a question of justice for the Palestinian people”, insisted Monday in Brussels the Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, José Manuel Albares, alongside his Irish and Norwegian.

Announced last Wednesday in a coordinated manner by the Prime Ministers of these three countries, this decision will be effective on Tuesday.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez is due to speak at 06:30 GMT before his government adopts the decree on Spain's recognition of the State of Palestine.

Recognition of the State of Palestine by Spain, Ireland and Norway

Irish Prime Minister Simon Harris (center), Irish Foreign Minister Michel Martin (right) and Transport Minister Eamon Ryan during a speech announcing the recognition of a Palestinian state, May 22, 2024 in Dublin © AFP – Paul FAITH

The Irish government is also due to meet in the morning while Norway delivered a note verbale to the new Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Mustafa on Sunday confirming the entry into force of this decision on Tuesday.

These three European countries – two of which are members of the EU (Spain and Ireland) – want to believe that their initiative has a strong symbolic significance, capable of bringing other states to join them.

They highlight the role played by Norway and Spain in the peace process of the 1990s in the Middle East. Madrid had in fact hosted an Israeli-Arab Peace Conference in 1991, two years before the Oslo Accords of 1993.

– Divergences within the EU –

If Slovenia will also soon recognize the State of Palestine, the issue gives rise to deep differences within the EU.

Other member states judge, like France, that this is not the right time. Germany is only considering such recognition following negotiations between the two parties.

Recognition of the State of Palestine by Spain, Ireland and Norway

Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr prepares to announce Norway's recognition of a Palestinian state on May 22, 2024 in Oslo. © NTB – Erik Flaaris Johansen

Including Spain, Ireland and Norway, the State of Palestine is recognized by 145 countries out of the 193 member states of the UN, according to a count by the Palestinian Authority. Absent from this list are most of the countries of Western Europe and North America, Australia, Japan and even South Korea.

Until here, Sweden was in 2014 the only EU country to have recognized it, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania and Cyprus having done so before joining the bloc.

The decision of Madrid, Dublin and Oslo provoked Israel's fury last week. And tensions have risen further in recent days.

– “Prize” awarded to Hamas –

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz took “punitive measures” on Monday against the Spanish consulate in Jerusalem, which was forced to cease its services to the Palestinians on June 1.

“We do not tolerate attacks on the sovereignty and security of Israel,” he said, accusing Spain of awarding “a prize to Hamas” which The October 7 attack in southern Israel sparked the war in the Gaza Strip.

This attack resulted in the deaths of more than 1,170 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP count based on official Israeli data. Israel's retaliation left more than 36,000 people dead in the Gaza Strip, mostly civilians, according to the Hamas Ministry of Health.

Recognition of the State of Palestine by Spain, Ireland and Norway

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz, February 19, 2024 in Jerusalem © AFP – AHMAD GHARABLI

Israel Katz also posted a video on Sunday on the social network (his) services” to Pedro Sánchez.

A video described as “scandalous and abominable” by José Manuel Albares.

The Spanish Minister of Defense, Margarita Robles, also raised the tone by accusing Israel on Saturday of committing a “real genocide” in Gaza, a term used until now only by far-left ministers but never by a socialist member of the Spanish government.

“Some have called our decision” a “prize awarded to terrorism. Nothing could be further from the truth”, said Irish Foreign Minister Micheal Martin insisted on Monday, defending the recognition of the State of Palestine alongside that of Israel as the desire of Dublin, Madrid and Oslo to “see a future of normalized relations between the two peoples” .

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