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Israel recalls ambassadors, as European trio recognize Palestine



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

"I am sending a clear message today: Israel will not be complacent against those who undermine its sovereignty and endanger its security," Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz stated Wednesday, as Tel Aviv warned international partners of the "severe consequences" that would further come.


Katz's words came as Israel recalled its ambassadors from Dublin, Oslo, and Madrid. 

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.

The idea of Palestinian statehood is vehemently opposed by Israel. /CFP
The idea of Palestinian statehood is vehemently opposed by Israel. /CFP

The idea of Palestinian statehood is vehemently opposed by Israel. /CFP

'Two states that can live in peace with each other'

Ireland, Norway, and Spain all released statements early Wednesday, paving the way forward for national recognition of Palestine.

"Today, Ireland, Norway, and Spain are announcing that we recognize the state of Palestine," Irish Taoiseach (prime minister) Simon Harris said in Dublin. "Each of us will now undertake whatever national steps are necessary to give effect to that decision."

Stating that Ireland's stance and recognition hadn't waivered, he called on Hamas to release the remaining Israeli hostages held in Gaza. 

In Oslo, Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere echoed calls that peace could be found through greater recognition. He said: "In the middle of a war, with tens of thousands of dead and injured, we must keep alive the only thing that can provide a safe home for both Israelis and Palestinians: two states that can live in peace with each other."

Stoere urged the two parties to seek a solution involving "two states living side by side in peace and security."

Slating the move as a means of accelerating efforts aimed at securing a ceasefire, Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced that Spain would recognize Palestine from May 28.

"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.

A growing consensus

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. The United Kingdom and Australia have indicated in recent months that they could soon follow suit.

Palestinians seek statehood in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip, with East Jerusalem as their capital.

Israel's staunchest ally, the United States, last month vetoed an attempt at United Nations recognition for a Palestinian state, arguing that a two-state solution can only come from direct negotiations between the parties.

Israel recalls ambassadors, as European trio recognize Palestine

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Source(s): Reuters ,AFP
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