Ireland, Norway, and Spain have announced they will formally recognize a Palestinian state from 28 May. Spain and Ireland said the decision was not against Israel nor in favour of Hamas, but rather in support of peace.
Israel reacted angrily, warning that the move would mean more instability in the region and recalling its ambassadors to all three countries.
Both Hamas and its rival, the Palestinian Authority, have welcomed the recognition.
Norway was the first to make its announcement on Wednesday, in a move coordinated with the other two countries.
Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre said in an address that the move was “in support of moderate forces that are on a retreating front in a protracted and cruel conflict.”
Referring to the so-called two-state solution, which would see an Israeli and a Palestinian state exist peacefully next to each other, Jonas Gahr added, “This is an investment in the only solution that can bring lasting peace in the Middle East. Ireland and Spain followed suit soon after.
Irish Foreign Minister Micheál Martin said the move stated clearly Irish unambiguous support for the equal right to security, dignity, and self-determination for the Palestinian and Israeli peoples.
The country’s Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Simon Harris later stressed that “Hamas is not the Palestinian people.”. Mr. Harris’s comments were echoed by Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, who said the move was “not against Israel, not against the Jews.”.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denounced the move by Ireland, Norway and Spain as a “reward for terrorism” and said it would not bring peace.
Foreign Minister Israel Katz said he was ordering the immediate return of the Israeli ambassadors to all three countries for “consultations.”
Mr. Katz also said the three countries’ ambassadors in Israel will be summoned for “reprimand talks,” during which they will be shown a video of the abduction of female Israeli soldiers on October 7.
Hamas, which controls Gaza and is currently at war with Israel, said Wednesday’s announcements would be a “turning point in the international position on the Palestinian issue.”
Hamas’s rival, the Palestinian Authority (PA) – which controls parts of the Israeli-occupied West Bank, said Norway, Spain and Ireland had demonstrated their “unwavering commitment” to “delivering the long overdue justice to the Palestinian people.”
The issue of Palestinian statehood has vexed the international community for decades.
Most of the world already recognizes the state of Palestine. Earlier this month, 143 of the 193 members of the United Nations General Assembly voted in favour of it joining the UN, something only states can do.

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