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Spain, Norway, Ireland Announce Recognition of Palestinian State

May 22, 2024
Image Credit: Pok Rie/Pexels

Norway, Ireland, and Spain announced on 22 May their official recognition of a Palestinian state, marking a significant diplomatic development amid ongoing conflict in the region.

“Even in times of war, with countless lives lost and injured, we must uphold the prospect of a political solution for both Israelis and Palestinians,” said Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre during a press conference. “Two states, coexisting in peace and security, is the only viable path forward.”

Irish Prime Minister Simon Harris echoed this sentiment at a press conference in Dublin, expressing hope that this recognition would “bring hope and encouragement to the Palestinian people during their darkest times.”

Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez called on his government to take action to “move from words to action…for peace, justice and coherence,” also highlighting that the decisions taken by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his cabinet places the two-state solution at risk.

The three countries’ decision will come into action on 28 May.


In response, Israel recalled its ambassadors from Ireland and Norway, stating it would take similar actions with Spain – who were the last to announce their recognition of a Palestinian state.

In a social media post directed at Ireland – the first of the three countries to signal their intent to recognise the state of Palestine – Israel’s foreign ministry warned that recognising a Palestinian state would lead to “more terrorism, instability in the region, and jeopardise any prospects for peace,” urging the country not to become “a pawn in the hands of Hamas.”

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz criticised the move, suggesting that Ireland and Norway’s decision sends a message to the world that “terrorism pays“.

Katz also stated that this change in direction could hinder efforts to secure the return of Israeli hostages from Gaza and complicate cease-fire negotiations.


To date, more than 140 out of the 193 United Nations (UN) member states recognise Palestinian statehood, although no Group of Seven (G7) nations are among them.

The UN’s General Assembly also took a significant step towards bolstering Palestine’s position on the global stage on 10 May after an overwhelming majority vote called for its acceptance as a full member state.

The move represented a symbolic victory for Palestinians, though full membership remains contingent on approval from the UN Security Council.

US President Joe Biden previously highlighted that his administration supports a two-state solution as the only viable resolution, although never formally recognised a Palestinian state.

Israel is yet to agree on ceasefire terms despite Hamas’s acceptance of the latest conditions on 6 May.

Spain, Norway, and Ireland’s historical shift in diplomacy coincides with intensified Israeli military operations in Gaza, particularly in Rafah – previously considered the last safe zone for displaced Palestinians.

It also follows the International Criminal Court’s announcement of plans to seek arrest warrants for Israeli leaders, including Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, as well as Hamas leaders, on charges of war crimes.

Since 7 October, over 35,000 people – many of them children and women – have been reported killed in the seven-month-long conflict, according to the latest data reported by WAFA Agency. An additional 79,000 were injured with many more trapped under rubble caused by Israeli airstrikes.

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