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The governments of Spain, Ireland and Norway said on Wednesday they would recognize a Palestinian state on May 28, a move they argue will promote peace, and one they hope will end the humanitarian crisis resulting from Israel’s war with Hamas, the Associated Press reported.

The almost simultaneous decisions by two European Union countries, and Norway, may generate momentum for the recognition of a Palestinian state by other EU countries, the newswire wrote, and possibly push the United Nations to take action.

After the announcement, Norway’s Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre said a two-state solution would be in Israel’s best interest.

The Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), meanwhile, welcomed what it called a “historical” moment honoring “long decades of Palestinian national struggle.”

Israel, however, was furious and recalled its envoys to Spain, Ireland, and Norway. “Today’s decision sends a message to the Palestinians and the world: Terrorism pays,” said Foreign Minister Israel Katz.

The Israeli government has argued that the recognition of a Palestinian state is tantamount to rewarding Hamas for the atrocities it committed on Oct. 7, when militants killed some 1,200 people and took more than 250 others hostage.

Hamas, which has ruled the Gaza Strip since 2007, said the decision by the European countries was an “important step.”

Nonetheless, Irish Prime Minister Simon Harris said he did not want the move to signal diplomatic support for Hamas, rather an encouragement for talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority based in the West Bank, Politico reported.

The three European countries will soon join 140 countries, which have already recognized Palestinian statehood. The list features an overwhelming majority of states in Latin America, Africa and Asia – and the notable absence of most nations in the Western world.

Seven of the EU’s 27 member states currently recognize a Palestinian state. Five of them, all Eastern European countries, did so in 1988 in a joint effort of the Eastern Bloc. In 2014, Sweden became the first EU member to unilaterally recognize Palestine.

Harris said he hoped that the move by his government and Norway and Spain would prompt other nations to recognize Palestinian statehood as well. Already, Malta and Slovenia have said they would follow and Belgium’s Deputy Prime Minister Petra de Sutter has expressed support.

Observers noted the timing of the decision, which came days after the International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor requested arrest warrants for Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and three Hamas leaders, including Ismail Haniyeh.

Two weeks ago, the United Nations General Assembly approved a symbolic resolution demanding membership for Palestine, which currently has observer status. Israel and the United States were among the nine states that voted against it.

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