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Spain and Ireland want to recognize the Palestinian state

The Spanish and Irish governments have announced the recognition of Palestine as a state. A delay was no longer credible or tenable, according to reports from Dublin. Other countries could follow.

Spain and Ireland plan to soon recognize a Palestinian state. Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said: “Spain is ready to recognize the Palestinian state.” He met with the heads of government of Ireland and Malta to take this important step forward.

Recognition is right “because the social majority demands it, it is in Europe's geopolitical interest and because the international community cannot help the Palestinian state if it does not recognize it,” emphasized Sánchez.

Spain sharply criticizes Israel

At the same time, Sánchez attacked the Israeli government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “The Israeli government's completely disproportionate response to the Hamas terrorist attack overrides decades of humanitarian law and threatens to destabilize the Middle East and therefore the entire world,” he said. One of the most deplorable humanitarian disasters of this century is taking place in the region.

“In addition to the more than 33,000 deaths in the Gaza Strip, a million innocent civilians suffer from hunger every day, half a million people suffer from anxiety or depression, and every day ten children lose a leg or an arm, often amputated without anesthesia,” complained Sánchez.

In November, Israel reacted angrily to criticism from Madrid, recalling its ambassador to consultations and summoning Spain's ambassador to Israel to the Foreign Ministry for consultations.

Ireland's Foreign Minister wants to submit a proposal

In Ireland, Foreign Minister Micheal Martin declared his intention to submit a formal proposal to the government to recognize a Palestinian state. Martin said he would do so once the “broader international discussions” had been completed. There is no doubt, “the recognition of a Palestinian state will take place,” he told parliament. Delaying is no longer credible or tenable.

Martin later told The Journal news site that the formal proposal would be made “in the coming weeks.”

Last month, Spain, Ireland, Slovenia and Malta announced in a joint statement that they were ready to recognize a Palestinian state. Ireland has long stated that it would generally not speak out against anything that could be helpful to the peace process in the Middle East.

Debate reignited by war

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejects a two-state solution, as does the militant Islamist Hamas. This means an independent Palestinian state that exists peacefully side by side with Israel.

The war in the Gaza Strip reignited discussions about recognition. Germany does not recognize Palestine as a state, but maintains diplomatic relations with the Palestinian territories.

The war in the Gaza Strip was triggered by Hamas' major attack on Israel on October 7th, in which, according to Israeli information, around 1,170 people were killed and around 250 others were kidnapped as hostages in the Gaza Strip. Since then, Israel has taken massive military action in the Gaza Strip. According to the Hamas-controlled Ministry of Health, which cannot be independently verified, more than 33,300 people have been killed so far.

Recognition by 139 countries

Israel conquered the West Bank and East Jerusalem in 1967. Three million Palestinians and around 700,000 Israeli settlers live there today. The Palestinians claim the territories for an independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

The United Nations granted Palestine observer state status in 2012. Of the 193 UN member states, 139 have so far recognized Palestine as an independent state.

Germany and the USA are not included. Until now, they had always emphasized that a Palestinian state had to be agreed upon as part of peace negotiations with Israel. However, these have been lying idle for a decade.

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