Why does that matter?


Spain, Ireland and Norway said Wednesday that they would recognize a Palestinian state on May 28, a step toward a long-held Palestinian aspiration that came amid international outrage over the civilian death toll and humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip following Israel’s offensive.
Currently, seven member of the 27-nation European Union officially recognize a Palestinian state.
Some 140 of the about 190 countries represented in the U.N. have already recognized a Palestinian state.
The leaders of Spain, Ireland, Malta and Slovenia said in March they were considering recognizing a Palestinian state as “a positive contribution” toward ending the war.
Israel, which rejects any move to legitimize the Palestinians internationally, reacted rapidly Wednesday by recalling its ambassadors to Ireland, Norway and Spain.
France indicated that it isn’t ready to join other countries in recognizing a Palestinian state, even if it isn’t opposed to the idea in principle.
German, meanwhile, said it will not recognize a Palestinian state for the time being.


In response to international indignation over the number of civilian deaths and the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip as a result of Israel’s offensive, Spain, Ireland, and Norway announced on Wednesday that they would recognize a Palestinian state on May 28. This move fulfills a long-standing Palestinian desire.

The nearly simultaneous actions by two EU members and Norway could accelerate the process of other EU members recognizing a Palestinian state and lead to more UN resolutions, further isolating Israel.

At the moment, a Palestinian state is formally recognized by seven of the 27 members of the European Union. Prior to joining the bloc, Cyprus and five other former members of the East Bloc declared their recognition in 1988. In 2014, Sweden declared its recognition.

Member of the EU, the Czech Republic claims that the 1988 recognition granted to the then-former Czechoslovakia, of which it was a part, is no longer applicable to the current state. According to Slovakia’s Foreign Ministry, the two parties acknowledged Slovakia’s independence in 1992–1993, and the Palestinian state has had a fully operational embassy in Bratislava since 2006.

Slovenia and Malta, two EU members, say they might do the same, though not right away.

About 140 of the approximately 190 nations represented in the U.S. Not N. a Palestinian state has already been acknowledged.

The following explains how and why the recent announcements from Europe might be significant:.


An A U. Not N. The 1947 partition plan, which called for the establishment of a Jewish state alongside a Palestinian state, was rejected by the Arab community at large and by the Palestinian people themselves because it would have given the Palestinians, who make up two thirds of the population, less than half of the land.

Israel gained even more territory in the Arab-Israeli war that year, while Jordan ruled over the West Bank and east Jerusalem and Egypt over Gaza.

Israel captured all three of these territories in the 1967 war, and despite decades of intermittent peace negotiations, none of them have succeeded.

The idea of an independent Palestinian state coexisting with Israel as a solution to the Middle East’s most unsolvable conflict has been supported by the United States, Britain, and other Western nations, but they maintain that Palestinian statehood should only occur as part of a negotiated settlement. Since 2009, no meaningful negotiations have taken place.

The symbolism helps raise the Palestinians’ profile internationally and puts more pressure on Israel to start talks on ending the conflict, even though Norway and the other EU members won’t be recognizing an actual state—just the potential for one.

Additionally, the action gives the Middle East issue more attention before the June 6–9 European Parliament elections.

Why now?

In the eight months that the war with Hamas has lasted, diplomatic pressure on Israel has increased. The ‘U. N. In an indication of growing support worldwide for a vote on full voting membership, the General Assembly voted on May 11 by a sizable margin to grant Palestine new “rights and privileges.”. Currently, the Palestinian Authority is classified as an observer.

As “a positive contribution” to ending the war, the leaders of Malta, Slovenia, Spain, and Ireland announced in March that they were thinking about recognizing a state for Palestine.

“This recognition is not against anybody, it is not against the Israeli people,” declared Pedro Sánchez, the prime minister of Spain, on Wednesday. It’s an act that promotes moral coherence, justice, and peace. “.

Although Norway has long supported the creation of a Palestinian state, recognition is only “a card that you can play once,” Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide told The Associated Press. “.

He remarked, “We used to think that recognition would come at the end of a process.”. We now understand that acknowledgment ought to act as a catalyst, fortifying a procedure. “.


None of the major Western powers have recognized a Palestinian state, despite the fact that dozens of other nations have, and it is unclear how much of an impact the three countries’ decision will have.

Nevertheless, the Palestinians would consider their recognition as a major victory since they see it as giving international legitimacy to their struggle. It was unclear what Ireland and Spain would do, but Norway declared that it would turn its representative’s office in Palestine into an embassy.

In the near future, not much would probably change on the ground. The hardline government of Israel has become increasingly adamant in its opposition to Palestinian statehood, and peace negotiations have come to a standstill.


Israel reacted quickly on Wednesday, pulling its ambassadors from Ireland, Norway, and Spain. Israel opposes any attempt to grant international legitimacy to the Palestinians.

“The intention of several European countries to recognize a Palestinian state is a reward for terrorism,” stated Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a video statement. “.

“The horrific massacre of October 7 is supported by 80% of the Palestinian population in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank),” he stated. Nothing can legitimize this evil. This state will be home to terrorists. He was alluding to the October actions led by Hamas. 7 attack that claimed 1,200 lives in southern Israel and resulted in the kidnapping of more than 250 people.

Israel maintains that all problems should be resolved through dialogue and claims that actions similar to those taken by the three European nations on Wednesday will strengthen the Palestinian position and jeopardize the negotiation process.

When foreign governments make decisions that Israel believes to be against its interests, it frequently reacts by calling the ambassadors of those nations and punishing the Palestinians with actions like stopping tax transfers to the financially strapped Palestinian Authority.



Over two thirds of UN members, or about 140 countries, have already recognized a Palestinian.

In response to the outcry over the effects of Israel’s offensive in Gaza, which, according to the Health Ministry of Gaza, has killed over 35,000 Palestinians, some major powers have hinted that their position may be changing. The ministry’s count does not differentiate between fighters and noncombatants.

According to British Foreign Secretary David Cameron, Israeli negotiations with Palestinian leaders could lead to the recognition of a Palestinian state, but not while Hamas is still in control of Gaza.

Although it isn’t against the idea in theory, France made it clear that it isn’t prepared to follow other nations in recognizing a state for Palestine. Following a closed-door meeting with his Israeli counterpart on Wednesday, French Foreign Minister Stéphane Séjourné made remarks that were transcribed by his ministry. He stated that the recognition of a Palestinian state must be “useful” in advancing a two-state solution and hinted that doing so at this time will not actually advance that objective.

Meanwhile, Germany declared that it would not, at this point, recognize a state for Palestine.

A representative for German Chancellor Olaf Scholz stated that while he believes that a negotiated two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians is the best option, it is still many years away.


scroll to top