DECEMBER 9, 2022
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Ireland, Norway, and Spain Recognize Palestine as a State, Sparking Israeli and U.S. Backlash

Ireland, Norway, and Spain Recognize Palestine as a State, Sparking Israeli and U.S. Backlash

Ireland, Norway, and Spain announced on Wednesday their decision to recognize Palestine as a state, a move that has angered Israel and drawn criticism from the White House.

“Today, Ireland, Norway, and Spain are announcing that we recognize the state of Palestine. Each of us will now undertake whatever national steps are necessary to give effect to that decision,” declared Irish Prime Minister Simon Harris.

The three countries plan to formalize their recognition of Palestine on May 28, joining over 140 UN member states that have already done so.

In reaction, Israel recalled its ambassadors from the three nations and summoned the Irish, Norwegian, and Spanish envoys in Israel for a “severe reprimand conversation,” according to Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz. “History will remember that Spain, Norway, and Ireland chose to reward Hamas murderers and rapists,” Katz stated.

Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich also responded by announcing that Israel will withhold tax revenue from the Palestinian Authority, which administers part of the Israeli-occupied West Bank. Smotrich, a West Bank settler, supports the expansion of settlements with the ultimate goal of annexing Palestinian territory.

The White House criticized the decision by Ireland, Norway, and Spain, stating that a Palestinian state should not be recognized unilaterally. A National Security Council spokesperson mentioned that President Biden believes “a Palestinian state should be realized through direct negotiations between the parties, not through unilateral recognition.”

The spokesperson reiterated Biden’s support for a two-state solution but noted his continued backing of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has rejected the idea of a Palestinian state in “any future arrangement.” Recently, the US also vetoed a UN Security Council resolution that aimed to grant Palestine full UN membership.

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