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Norway , Ireland, Spain to recognise Palestinian State May 28

The leaders of Norway, Ireland and Spain have said their countries will formally recognise Palestine as a state next week for the sake of “peace in the Middle East”, prompting Israel to immediately recall its envoys, Al Jazeera reports.

Norway’s Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store said on Wednesday that a two-state solution was in Israel’s best interest and the recognition of Palestinian statehood would come as of May 28.

“There cannot be peace in the Middle East if there is no recognition,” he said in Oslo.

Ireland’s prime minister Simon Harris made a similar announcement in Dublin, as did Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez in Madrid, to applause in parliament.

“In the midst of a war, with tens of thousands killed and injured [in Gaza], we must keep alive the only alternative that offers a political solution for Israelis and Palestinians alike: Two states, living side by side, in peace and security,” Gahr Store said.

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“Recognition of Palestine is a means of supporting the moderate forces which have been losing ground in this protracted and brutal conflict,” he said.

Harris told a news conference: “I’m confident that further countries will join us in taking this important step in the coming weeks.”

Ireland’s foreign minister Micheal Martin said on X that the recognition will take place on May 28.

Sanchez, while announcing that Spain’s council of ministers would also recognise an independent Palestinian state on May 28, accused his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu of putting the two-state solution in “danger” with his policy of “pain and destruction” in Gaza.

“We hope that our recognition and our reasons contribute to other Western countries to follow this path, because the more we are, the more strength we will have to impose a ceasefire,” Sanchez said.

Harris also said that Ireland was unequivocal in recognising Israel’s right to exist “securely and in peace with its neighbours”, and called for all captives in Gaza to be immediately returned.

“But let me also be clear, Hamas is not the Palestinian people … a two-state solution is the only way out of the generational cycles of violence, retaliation and resentment,” he added.

At least 35,709 people have been killed and 79,990 wounded in Israeli attacks on Gaza since October 7. The death toll in Israel from Hamas’s October 7 attack is 1,139, with dozens still held captive.42 seconds08:42

Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Turkey welcomed the three leaders’ decision. France said now was not the right moment, but added that recognition was not “taboo”. Meanwhile, the White House acknowledged that each country can make its own decision on whether to recognise a Palestinian state, but stressed that US President Joe Biden thinks direct negotiations by the parties is the best approach.

Prime Minister Netanyahu decried the announcement by Ireland, Norway and Spain that they will soon recognise a Palestinian state as a “prize for terrorism”, adding Israel is undeterred from winning the Gaza war.

“This would be a terrorist state. It would try to carry out the October 7 massacre again and again – and that, we shall not agree to,” Netanyahu said in a statement.

He added that 80 percent of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank support the October 7 Hamas attack on southern Israel.

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