Three European countries recognize Palestine, Israel recalls envoys, issues stern warning

  MOSCOW: The authorities of Ireland, Spain and Norway have announced their decision to recognize Palestine as an independent state, leading...

 


MOSCOW: The authorities of Ireland, Spain and Norway have announced their decision to recognize Palestine as an independent state, leading Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz to issue a warning about the danger of this move.

Previously, 143 out of 193 UN member nations, including Russia, had recognized Palestine. However, the majority of European countries have not yet decided to recognize the state’s independence.

TASS has gathered the key facts surrounding these developments.

The decision

The authorities of Ireland, Spain and Norway announced the decision to recognize Palestine on the morning of May 22. According to Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, the decision will come into force in his country on May 28.

According to Ireland’s PM Simon Harris, other countries may follow suit soon. Politico said earlier that Belgium and Slovenia are among those who are likely to adopt the decision.

Israel’s reaction

Israel has already recalled its ambassadors from Ireland, Spain and Norway. According to the Israeli foreign minister, his country "will not back down from those who undermine its sovereignty and threaten its security."

The minister also said that the decision is "an injustice to the memory of the victims" of the October 7 attack on Israel by Hamas. According to Katz, this move "sends Palestinians and all the world the message that terrorism pays."

Besides, the Israeli Foreign Ministry summoned the three countries’ ambassadors. According to the Ynet website, they will be confronted and shown a video of Hamas kidnapping female Israeli troops on October 7, 2023.

World reaction

The Palestinian leadership lauded Ireland, Spain and Norway for supporting "the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination on their own land," and urged other countries to follow this example.

The Hamas movement also welcomed the decision, calling it "an important step towards stating the right of the Palestinian people to create their own independent state."

The Turkish Foreign Ministry also praised the decision, while the Chinese diplomatic department urged going "back to the policy of a two-state solution."

The decision’s background

Ireland, Spain and Norway decided to recognize Palestine’s sovereignty amid the armed conflict in the Gaza Strip that unfolded after the October 7 attack. On that day, hundreds of Israelis were killed and taken hostage. In response, Israel launched a full-scale military operation, which killed over 35,000 people.

In recent weeks, talk about an operation in the city of Rafah on the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt has heated up. According to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, it is necessary to "completely defeat Hamas." Other nations, including the US, urge the Israelis not to launch any large-scale military operations in the city, where 1.4 mln forcibly displaced people stay.

On May 20, ICC prosecutor Karim Khan requested that Pre-Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court issue arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, saying that the ICC has "reasonable grounds to believe" that they "bear criminal responsibility for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed on the territory of the State of Palestine (in the Gaza strip) from at least October 8, 2023. He also demanded that arrest warrants be issued for three Hamas leaders.

Palestine’s status

The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution on the creation of two states - one Jewish and one Arab - back in 1947. After Israel’s founding in 1948, Arab countries sent troops to the country’s territory; however, they were defeated. The Israelis, meanwhile, occupied the territory which should have become the Arab state.

In 1988, at the Palestinian National Council meeting in Algeria, a decision was adopted to create a country with Eastern Jerusalem as its capital. However, this still has not happened. Palestine has no army or currency, while most of its border areas, as well as East Jerusalem, are controlled by Israel. Besides, since 2007, Palestine is politically divided: the West Bank is controlled by the Fatah movement, and Hamas ruled the Gaza Strip before Israel’s operation began. About three-fourths of the UN member states recognize the independent Palestine, which is not accepted by the majority of Western countries. Palestine is a member to the Arab league, but has no power in the UN.


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Local Glob: Three European countries recognize Palestine, Israel recalls envoys, issues stern warning
Three European countries recognize Palestine, Israel recalls envoys, issues stern warning
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