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Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli Prime Minister

Israel recalls envoys from Norway, Ireland over Palestine recognition; Spain to join in recognising Palestinian state

Tel Aviv/Oslo, May 22, 2024
Israel is recalling its ambassadors from Norway and Ireland following the European countries’ drive to recognise Palestinian statehood, Israel’s foreign minister Israel Katz said on Wednesday.
“I have instructed the immediate recall of Israel’s ambassadors to Ireland and Norway for consultations in light of these countries’ decisions to recognise a Palestinian state,” Katz said.
“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,” he posted on X.
Shortly before Katz’s announcement, Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre said his country would formally recognise Palestinian statehood on May 28.
Ireland is expected to announce a similar position soon.
Meanwhile, Spain is set to announce its recognition of an independent Palestinian state, sources said on Wednesday.
Already, Norway and Ireland have announced their recognition of a Palestinian state, with Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere saying on Wednesday that the recognition “is in the hope that this will help bring peace with Israel”.
European Union members Slovenia and Malta have also indicated in recent weeks that they plan to make the recognition, arguing a two-state solution is essential for lasting peace in the region.
“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,” Stoere told a news conference.
Before the announcement, some 143 out of 193 member-states of the United Nations recognised a Palestinian state.
European countries have approached the issue differently.
Some, like Sweden, recognised a Palestinian state a decade ago, while France is not planning to do so unless it can be an effective tool to make progress toward peace.
The moves come as Israeli forces have led assaults on the northern and southern edges of the Gaza Strip in May, causing a new exodus of hundreds of thousands of people, and sharply restricting the flow of aid, raising the risk of famine.
Non-EU member Norway has long said it would recognise Palestine as a country only if it could have a positive impact on the peace process, in step with what the United States has said on the issue.
Norway is a close U.S. ally, and the Nordic country has sought to help broker peace between Israel and the Palestinians on several occasions in recent decades.

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