European Recognition – Voxeurop

A historic moment: on Tuesday 28 May, Norway, Ireland and Spain formally recognised the State of Palestine. The three European nations now join 143 other countries that recognise Palestine as a sovereign state. While Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez (centre-left, Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party) made it clear that the decision was not “anti-Israel”, it nevertheless provoked the ire of the Jewish state, which announced that it would recall its ambassadors in response.

Few European states recognise Palestinian sovereignty. Not counting the newcomers, only nine EU countries are on the list, including Sweden, Poland and Hungary. For many of these countries, the recognition of Palestine is a legacy of their Communist past: the Soviet Union formally recognised the Palestinian State in 1988.

The decision by Norway, Ireland and Spain comes as the Israeli army continues its offensive in the Gaza Strip in response to the 7 October attack orchestrated by Hamas. While it is unlikely that this recognition will have any impact on the ground, it does serve as a reminder of the historic links that have previously united the three European states and Palestine, and testifies to Israel’s growing isolation on the international stage.

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