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Ireland, Norway, and Spain to recognize a Palestine state

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Ireland, Norway, and Spain to recognize a Palestine state

Photo: REUTERS/Ammar Awad

Three European heads of government—Spain, Ireland, and Norway—jointly announced last Wednesday that their countries would formally recognize a Palestinian state effective today.

The leaders clarified that their move was neither against Israel nor in favor of Hamas, but in recognizing the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination as part of a two-state solution.

Israel condemned the move and recalled its ambassadors to the three countries. A White House spokesperson also noted that Palestinian statehood could only be realized after negotiations. Meanwhile, both Hamas and the Palestinian Authority welcomed the move.

Although Norway’s Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store stated his hope for creating momentum for peace talks, the three countries’ actions are unlikely to change the current situation. Israel is also unlikely to comply with last Friday’s ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which ordered a halt to the military offensive on Rafah. While the ICJ’s rulings are legally binding, it has no enforcement mechanism.

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Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to continue fighting until Hamas’ defeat. Hamas’ rocket attack on Tel Aviv last Sunday likely further motivates Israel’s government to continue fighting. Nonetheless, international pressure will continue to grow, including from Israel’s most important ally—the US—which has already stated it was halting its weapon shipments to Israel.

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