Norway, Ireland, and Spain Recognize Palestinian State Amidst Israel-Hamas Conflict

TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — In a historic but largely symbolic move, Norway, Ireland, and Spain announced on Wednesday their recognition of a Palestinian state. This decision further isolates Israel over seven months into its ongoing war against Hamas in Gaza. Israel promptly denounced the recognitions and recalled its ambassadors from the three countries.

Palestinians celebrated the announcements as a significant step in their long-standing quest for statehood in east Jerusalem, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip—territories occupied by Israel since the 1967 Mideast war.

With over 140 countries already recognizing a Palestinian state, Wednesday’s declarations could potentially build international momentum, especially as Israel faces increased criticism for its actions in Gaza. Earlier this week, the International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor announced plans to seek arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his defense minister, further denting Israel’s global standing.

Israeli officials, including Netanyahu’s government, oppose Palestinian statehood and insist that the conflict can only be resolved through direct negotiations, which have been stalled for over 15 years. The U.S. and Britain support the idea of an independent Palestinian state through a negotiated settlement, contrasting with the unilateral recognitions by Norway, Ireland, and Spain.

The formal recognition is set for May 28, with Norway planning to upgrade its representative office in the West Bank to an embassy. The decisions by these nations are viewed as a push towards peace and justice, despite Israel’s opposition and the ongoing conflict in Gaza.

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