Three European Countries Formally Recognize Palestinian Statehood

Three European nations formally recognized an independent Palestinian state on Tuesday, drawing the ire of Israel as it continued to press its military offensive in Gaza.

The previously announced moves by Spain, Norway and Ireland are largely symbolic, but serve as a rebuke to Israel in the face of mounting international frustration over the country’s military offensive in Gaza and its occupation of Palestinian territories over the years.

They also come amid global outrage over an Israeli airstrike on Sunday that killed dozens of people at a camp for displaced Palestinians in Rafah, despite international calls for the military to curb its offensive in the southern Gaza city. Growing concern over the civilian death toll could prompt more nations to follow suit, analysts say.

Israel’s foreign minister, Israel Katz, on Tuesday accused Spain’s prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, of complicity in incitement against Jews for his role in recognizing a Palestinian state.

But Mr. Sánchez rejected that claim in an address on Tuesday ahead of a cabinet vote on the matter, calling the recognition a matter of “historical justice” and a “necessity” in order to achieve peace.

“The recognition of Palestine is not against anyone, least of all Israel, a friendly nation that Spain values and holds in high regard and with whom we aim to foster the strongest possible relationship,” he said on the steps of Moncloa Palace, the prime minister’s residence, in Madrid. “Furthermore, our decision reflects our absolute rejection of Hamas, a terrorist organization that is against a two-state solution.”

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