After Norway and Ireland, Spain has also announced the recognition of Palestine as a state. The Council of Ministers will approve the recognition on May 28, Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez announced in parliament in Madrid.

“The Palestinians have a fundamental, independent right to their own state. Both Israelis and Palestinians have the right to live in peace in separate states. There can be no peace in the Middle East without a two-state solution,” said a press release Norwegian government. An Irish government spokesman announced the move was intended to keep the option of a two-state solution alive.

Ten years to Sweden

Sweden recognized Palestine as a state ten years ago. However, critics complain that the Palestinian territories lack important criteria for such a step. For example, the border between Israel and the Palestinians remains controversial. This also applies to the political status of East Jerusalem.

Spain has long been one of the harshest critics in Europe of Israel’s military actions in the Gaza Strip. The left-wing government suspended all arms exports to Israel in October. The recognition is right because “it is in Europe’s geopolitical interest and because the international community cannot help the Palestinian state if it does not recognize it,” Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said. One of the most deplorable humanitarian disasters of this century is taking place in Gaza.

Direct reaction from Tel Aviv

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz recalls his country’s ambassadors to Ireland and Norway for immediate consultations. “I am sending a clear and unambiguous message to Ireland and Norway: Israel will not remain silent in the face of those who undermine its sovereignty and threaten its security,” Katz wrote on Platform X about the two countries’ decision to recognize a Palestinian state.

“Today’s decision sends a message to the Palestinians and the world: terrorism pays,” said Katz. This step is an injustice to the memory of the victims of October 7th, when the Islamist Hamas carried out a massacre in Israel with its terrorist attack that killed more than 1,200 Israelis. “Israel will not remain silent – there will be further serious consequences,” Katz wrote. “If Spain implements its intention to recognize a Palestinian state, there will be similar steps.”

Israel strictly rejects recognizing Palestine. “By pushing for a Palestinian state, you are telling murderers and rapists that terror pays,” Israel’s UN Ambassador Gilad Erdan said recently as the UN General Assembly strengthened Palestine’s status. The Palestinian Authority does not meet the criteria for statehood.