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Israel Infuriated by Ireland, Spain, and Norway's Recognition of a Palestinian State

Editor

Laila Afifa

23 May 2024 12:15 WIB

Masses held a demonstration to defend Palestine in front of the United States Embassy, Jakarta, Friday, May 21, 2021. During this action the masses encouraged the Indonesian government to appear more in providing support for Palestinian independence and strongly condemn acts of violence by Israel. TEMPO / Muhammad Hidayat

TEMPO.CO, Dublin - Ireland, Spain, and Norway announced on Wednesday, May 22, that they would recognize a Palestinian state on May 28, prompting an angry response from Israel which said this amounted to a "reward for terrorism" and recalled its ambassadors from the three capitals.

Dublin, Madrid, and Oslo painted the decision as a move aimed at accelerating efforts to secure a ceasefire in Israel's war with Hamas in Gaza.

They urged other countries to follow suit although the United States, Israel's main ally, stood by its position that a Palestinian state should be realized through direct negotiations and not "unilateral recognition".

"We hope that our recognition and our reasons contribute to other Western countries following this path, because the more we are, the more strength we will have to impose a ceasefire, to achieve the release of the hostages held by Hamas, to relaunch the political process that can lead to a peace agreement," Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez told parliament.

Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store said the only possible political solution between Israelis and Palestinians was "two states living side by side in peace and security".

Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide said he did not expect the recognition to stop the war in Gaza, but it was "a key component" for an Arab-led peace initiative.

Ireland's Prime Minister Simon Harris told a Dublin press conference that Ireland remained unequivocal in recognizing Israel's right to exist "securely and in peace with its neighbors", and called for all hostages in Gaza to be freed.

The decision infuriated Israel, which says recognizing a Palestinian state amounts to rewarding Hamas militants for the Oct. 7 attack that triggered Israel's offensive against the Palestinian militant group in Gaza.

"The intention of several European countries to recognize a Palestinian state is a reward for terrorism," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement.

"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," he said.

"Rewarding terrorism will not bring peace and neither will it stop us from defeating Hamas."

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz said the decision would carry "severe consequences", and ordered the immediate return of the Israeli ambassadors from the three countries for consultations.



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