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Montevideo, June 13th 2024 - 01:41 UTC



Spain, Norway, and Ireland recognize Palestine's statehood

Wednesday, May 22nd 2024 - 23:03 UTC
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Terrorism pays, Israel's Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz said after the announcements Terrorism pays, Israel's Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz said after the announcements

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez Wednesday announced that his country would be recognizing Palestine's statehood as of May 28. In addition to Spain, Norway and the Republic of Ireland will be adopting the same stance. It was the Socialist leader's second bold diplomatic move this week after pulling Madrid's Ambassador María Jesús Alonso Jiménez from Buenos Aires. Of the 193 United Nations member states, 143 have recognized an independent state of Palestine, including China and Russia.

Sánchez's decision regarding the South American country was due to an exchange of verbal diatribes between him and members of his cabinet with Argentine President Javier Milei, a staunch supporter of Israel in its conflict with Hamas.

Nevertheless, the Spanish head of government insisted Wednesday that recognizing Palestine was not against anyone, let alone “the people of Israel” or “against the Jews.” Sánchez also underlined that the decision was not “in favor of Hamas” as opposition lawmakers from the rightwing Popular Party and Vox contended “in a shameful attempt to take political advantage of this matter” which was also how the Israeli government was depicting the new scenario.

“This recognition is not against anyone, it is in favor of peaceful coexistence between Israel and Palestine, it is in favor of the two-state solution, it is in favor of international law, of those who want the world not to be governed by the will of the strongest,” Sánchez argued.

He also reckoned that it would surely not please some Israeli leaders and that there would be consequences. “We are prepared to assume them because we think that the purpose of diplomacy is not to not bother anyone but to defend our own interests and values in a peaceful way and that is what we are doing today.”

Sánchez also maintained that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “continues to turn a deaf ear, bombing hospitals, schools, homes, and punishing more than a million people” in Gaza “with hunger, cold, and terror,” for which International Criminal Court (ICC) Chief Prosecutor Karim Khan has requested an arrest warrant against him as well as against Israeli Defense Minister Yuval Gallant and three top Hamas leaders.

In the Spanish Prime Minister's view, fighting the terrorist group Hamas was “legitimate and necessary” but Netanyahu “is generating so much pain, so much destruction and so much rancor in Gaza and the rest of Palestine that the two-state solution is in serious danger.”

“If one thing is clear to me, it is that Netanyahu does not have a peace project for Palestine,” Sánchez also pointed out.

Also Wednesday, Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre announced that “there can be no peace in the Middle East if there is no recognition.”

“The Palestinians have a fundamental, independent right to their own state. Both Israelis and Palestinians have the right to live in peace in separate states,” he added.

Irish Prime Minister Simon Harris underlined that Hamas was “not the Palestinian people” and that Wednesday's decision had been taken ”to help create a peaceful future.”

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas thanked Harris for such a “courageous” step and hoped other countries would issue similar statements of recognition shortly. Britain, Australia, and EU members Malta, and Slovenia have been singled out by press reports as the next likely candidates to follow suit. Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Secretary-General Hussein al-Sheikh spoke of a “historic moment” after decades of struggle.

In this scenario, Israel pulled its ambassadors from all three countries because they were sending a message to the world that “terrorism pays” and from now on Palestine would try to repeat the Oct. 7 massacre time and again. “We will not consent to this,” Netanyahu said. “This evil can not be given a state,” he added.

Israel claims that the PA already supports terror and the destruction of Israel and can not, therefore, be a partner for peace. Foreign Minister Israel Katz wrote on X that Israel would not remain silent in the face of ”those undermining its sovereignty and endangering its security.”

“This distorted step by these countries is an injustice to the memory of the victims of 7/10, a blow to efforts to return the 128 hostages, and a boost to Hamas and Iran's jihadists, which undermines the chance for peace and questions Israel’s right to self-defense,” Katz also wrote on social media.

Categories: Politics, International.

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