Spain, Ireland and Norway to formally recognise Palestinian state today

Spain, Ireland and Norway will formally recognise a Palestinian state Tuesday in a decision slammed by Israel as a “reward” for Hamas more than seven months into the devastating Gaza war.

The three European countries believe their initiative has strong symbolic impact, which will likely encourage others to follow suit.

They also point to Norway and Spain’s historic role in advancing Israel-Palestinian peace efforts: in 1991, the two sides sat down together for the first time at a Madrid peace conference that paved the way for the 1993 Oslo Accords.

Amid European Union’s widening rift with Israel, Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez on Tuesday said Spain will recognise a Palestinian state including Gaza Strip and West Bank, unified under the Palestinian National Authority with East Jerusalem as its capital.

In a televised address, while announcing to formally recognise Palestine as a state, Sánchez said the Spanish Cabinet would recognise the state at its meeting on Tuesday morning.

“The oppression on Palestine is unprecedented and it is our responsibility to establish peace in the region. Acknowledging Palestine complements UN resolutions,” he said.

About recognising Palestinian state, he said it was a historic occasion. Following this announcement, the number of countries recognising Palestine state has climbed to 146.

The prime minister said his country would not recognise any changes to Palestinian borders after 1967 unless all the parties agree on them. The Spanish government will formally approve the recognition later on Tuesday.

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