Spain, Norway and Ireland with Palestine!
Irish Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Simon Harris (R) and Environment Minister Eamon Ryan (L) hold a press conference at the Government Buildings in Dublin, Ireland, 22 May 2024. EFE-EPA/TOLGA AKMEN

Spain, Norway and Ireland with Palestine!


Madrid, May 22 (EFE).-

Spain, Norway, and Ireland will recognize Palestine as a state next week to promote peace in the volatile Middle East region, the leaders of the European countries announced on Wednesday, sparking an angry reaction from Israel.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, along with his Norwegian and Irish counterparts, Jonas Gahr Støre and Simon Harris, made coordinated announcements to recognize the Palestinian state on May 28.

Sánchez announced the date before a plenary session of the Spanish Congress, convened to inform about his discussions with other leaders to garner support for the recognition of Palestine.

The Spanish leader acknowledged the potential consequences of this decision.

Reaffirming his belief that the only viable solution to the Middle East conflict is the coexistence of Israel and Palestine, Sánchez said Spain’s recognition of Palestine was for the sake of peace and justice.

“This recognition is not against anyone. It is not against the people of Israel (…) and much less against the Jews,” he said, describing them as “an admirable people.”

Sánchez communicated the decision to King Felipe VI, UN Secretary-General António Guterres, and the presidents of the European Council and Commission, Charles Michel and Ursula von der Leyen, respectively.

He highlighted his recent contacts with other international leaders, indicating that more countries might recognize Palestine in the coming weeks.

Norwegian Prime Minister Støre said that a two-state solution was in Israel’s best interest.

“In the middle of a war, with tens of thousands of dead and injured, we must keep alive the only thing that can provide a safe home for both Israelis and Palestinians: two states that can live in peace with each other,” Store told reporters.

Irish Prime Minister Harris said Ireland from its own history knew what the recognition of a statehood meant.

“A two-state solution is the only way out of the generational cycles of violence, retaliation and resentment,” he said.

“Just as Ireland’s recognition as a state eventually led to the establishment of our now peaceful republic, we believe that Palestinian statehood will contribute to peace and to reconciliation in the Middle East.”

Haris described the Hamas attack on Oct. 7 as “barbaric”, and called “again for all hostages to be immediately returned to the arms of their loved ones”.

“But let me also be clear, Hamas is not the Palestinian people. Today’s decision to recognise Palestine is taken to help create a peaceful future.”

In response, Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz called Israeli ambassadors in Ireland and Norway for consultations and warned Spain of the “serious consequences” that would ensue.

“I’m sending a clear and unequivocal message to Ireland and Norway: Israel will not remain silent in the face of those undermining its sovereignty and endangering its security,” Katz said.

He said the decision sent a message to the world: “Terrorism pays.”

“After the Hamas terror organisation carried out the largest massacre of Jews since the Holocaust, after committing heinous sexual crimes witnessed by the world, these countries chose to reward Hamas and Iran by recognizing a Palestinian state.” EFE


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