‘We Recognize the State of Palestine’ – Ireland, Norway and Spain’s Official Announcement

Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and Irish Prime Minister Simon Harris. (Design: Palestine Chronicle)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

“I’m confident that further countries will join us in taking this important step in the coming weeks. This is a historic and important day for Ireland and for Palestine.”

The governments of Ireland, Norway and Spain have announced their formal recognition of Palestine as a state, a move welcomed by Hamas and rejected by Israel, prompting Tel Aviv to recall its envoys.

“Today, Ireland, Norway and Spain are announcing that we recognize the state of Palestine,” Ireland’s Prime Minister Simon said at a news conference on Wednesday. “Each of us will now undertake whatever national steps are necessary to give effect to that decision.”

Earlier, Norway’s Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre, also announced his country’s decision, which will take effect from May 28.

“The Norwegian Government has decided that Norway will recognize Palestine as a state,” Støre said in a press statement. “In the midst of a war, with tens of thousands killed and injured, 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.”

Standing Ovation

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s announcement in parliament received a standing ovation.

“After having reached a consensus between the two parties that make up the progressive coalition government, and echoing the majority feeling of the Spanish people, next Tuesday 28 May, Spain will approve in its council of ministers the recognition of the State of Palestine,” Sanchez said.

Harris said in the lead up to today’s announcement, “I’ve spoken with a number of other leaders and counterparts, and I’m confident that further countries will join us in taking this important step in the coming weeks. This is a historic and important day for Ireland and for Palestine.”

He explained that on January 21, 1919, “Ireland asked the world to recognize our right to be an independent state.”

“Our message to the free nations of the world was a plea for international recognition of our independence, emphasizing our distinct national identity, our historical struggle and our right to self-determination and justice. Today, we use the same language to support the recognition of Palestine as a state.”

Israel’s Angry Response

Tel Aviv reacted angrily to the announcements and immediately recalled its ambassadors from Ireland and Norway for consultations.

“I have instructed the immediate recall of Israel’s ambassadors to Ireland and Norway for consultations in light of these countries’ decisions to recognize a Palestinian state,” Israel’s Foreign Minister Israel Katz stated on X.

“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 added.

He threatened that “if Spain follows through on its intention to recognize a Palestinian state, a similar step will be taken against it.”

‘Harsh Punitive Measures’

Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich demanded “harsh punitive measures” against the Palestinian Authority, stipulating “six immediate steps” to be approved.

These include “immediate convening…for the the approval of ten thousand housing units in the settlement that are ripe for professional advancement, including in area E1,” as well as the cutting off of funds to the PA.

“I would like to inform you that I do not intend to transfer the liquidation funds to the PA, from now until further notice, and as I informed you in my letter two weeks ago,” Smotrich said on X.

He also intended “Canceling all the VIP permits of the senior PA officials permanently in all transitions and imposing additional financial sanctions on PA senior officials and their families.”

Palestinian Reaction

In a statement, the Resistance Movement Hamas welcomed the announcement.

“We consider it an important step towards affirming our right to our land and establishing our independent Palestinian state with Al-Quds as its capital,” the movement said. “We call on countries around the world to recognize our legitimate national rights, support the struggle of our Palestinian people for liberation and independence, and end the zionist occupation of our land.”

Hussein Al-Sheikh, the secretary-general of the Executive Committee of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) said on X: “Historical moments in which the free world triumphs for truth and justice after long decades of Palestinian national struggle, suffering, pain, occupation, racism, murder, oppression, abuse and destruction to which the people of Palestine were subjected to.”

“We thank the countries of the world that have recognized and will recognize the independent State of Palestine. We affirm that this is the path to stability, security and peace in the region,” he added.

‘Important Step’ – OIC

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) welcomed the decision saying “This important historic step is in line with international law and relevant United Nations legitimacy resolutions, contributes to the affirmation of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, and enhances the status of the State of Palestine at the international scene.”

The OIC renewed its call “to all states of the world that are yet to do so to announce this recognition and support the State of Palestine’s request for full membership in the United Nations, as part of support of the international efforts aimed at achieving peace and stability in the region.”

Earlier this month, 143 of the 193 members of the United Nations General Assembly voted in favour of a Palestinian bid to become a full member of the UN.

Nine countries, including the US and Israel – voted against the bid, while 25 countries abstained.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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1 Comment

  1. This is heartwarming, and from Spain and Ireland well-intentioned. But the Norwegian statement puts me on red alert: ‘Two states living side by side’. No, please! That project is dead – hopefully, for it is an unjust ‘solution’ barring the return of the Palestinian refugees, saying nothing about the apartheid system within the 1948-occupied territories, and leaving as ‘Palestine’ a pathetic 20% of what the Palestinians rightfully own: Palestine. END THE OCCUPATION OF ALL OF PALESTINE! The Qatari, Hamas and OIC statements correctly avoid two-statism and do not imply that the ‘state of Palestine’ remain outside the infamous Green Line. Somebody please talk to the Norwegians.

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