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Recognition of Palestine won't aid peace

1 min

Ireland, Spain and Norway announced on Wednesday that they would recognise a Palestinian state on May 28, saying they hoped other Western countries would follow suit, prompting Israel to recall its ambassadors.

Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez © Mena Today 

Ireland, Spain and Norway announced on Wednesday that they would recognise a Palestinian state on May 28, saying they hoped other Western countries would follow suit, prompting Israel to recall its ambassadors.

Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said the move was aimed at accelerating efforts to secure a ceasefire in Israel's war with Hamas in Gaza.

"We hope that our recognition and our reasons contribute to other western countries to follow this path because the more we are, the more strength we will have to impose a ceasefire, to achieve the release of the hostages held by Hamas, to relaunch the political process that can lead to a peace agreement," he said in a speech to the country's lower house.

Pedro Sanchez, very unpopular in his country, is very disconnected from the political realities of the Middle East. 

The recognition of a Palestinian state is not likely to contribute to the release of hostages or a ceasefire. Even less so to the resumption of peace negotiations. The urgent priority is to definitively neutralize Hamas and other Islamist groups in the Gaza Strip.

France indicated on Wednesday that the conditions for the recognition of a Palestinian state are not met.

In response to the announcements, Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz ordered the immediate return of the Israeli ambassadors to the three countries for consultations and warned of further "severe consequences".

"I am sending a clear message today: Israel will not be complacent against those who undermine its sovereignty and endanger its security," he said.

Israel's foreign ministry said it would also reprimand the Irish, Spanish and Norwegian ambassadors and show them a video of female hostages being held in captivity by Hamas.

Israel argues the only way to achieve Palestinian statehood is through negotiations and that bypassing this process would give Hamas and other militant groups an incentive to use violence.

U.S. President Joe Biden believes a Palestinian state should be achieved through negotiations, not unilateral recognition, the White House said on Wednesday

Around 144 out of 193 member-states of the United Nations have already taken the step, including most of the global south, Russia, China and India, but only a handful of 27 EU members have so far done so, Sweden being the first in 2014.

Reporting by Conor Humphries, Inti Landauro, Nerijus Adomaitis, Gwladys Fouche and Emma Pinedo with Mena Today 

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