Spain, Ireland and Norway officially recognize a Palestinian state

Rhino: Agencies – Spain, Ireland and Norway formally recognized a Palestinian state on Tuesday, despite an angry reaction from Israel, which finds itself increasingly isolated, seven months after the outbreak of war in the Gaza Strip.

Madrid, Dublin and Oslo said they were seeking to accelerate efforts to bring about a ceasefire in Gaza. The three countries say they hope their decision will galvanize other EU countries to follow suit.

‘It is the only way to move towards what everyone sees as the only possible solution for a peaceful future, a Palestinian state living side by side with the Israeli state in peace and security,’ Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said in a televised speech.

He added that Spain recognizes a unified Palestinian state that includes the Gaza Strip and the West Bank under the administration of the Palestinian National Authority, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Alvarez said on Tuesday that the move means that 146 of the 193 UN member states now recognize a Palestinian state.

The Palestinian Authority, which exercises limited autonomy in the West Bank under Israeli military occupation, welcomed the decision.

Sánchez said Madrid would not recognize any changes to the pre-1967 borders unless agreed by both parties.

Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs said last week it would upgrade its representative office in Ramallah in the West Bank to an embassy, appoint an ambassador and upgrade the status of the Palestinian mission in Ireland to an embassy.

Irish Prime Minister Simon Harris said in a statement: ‘We would have wanted to recognize Palestine at the end of a peace process and yet we have taken this step with Spain and Norway to keep the miracle of peace alive.

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