newsIsrael-Palestinian Conflict

Ireland joins Spain and Norway in recognizing Palestinian state

Dublin's announcement comes on the heels of similar official moves by Madrid and Oslo.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets in Jerusalem with his Belgian and Spanish counterparts, Alexander De Croo (left) and Pedro Sánchez, Nov. 23, 2023. Photo by Kobi Gideon/GPO.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets in Jerusalem with his Belgian and Spanish counterparts, Alexander De Croo (left) and Pedro Sánchez, Nov. 23, 2023. Photo by Kobi Gideon/GPO.

Ireland joined Spain and Norway on Tuesday in officially recognizing a “sovereign and independent” Palestinian state, agreeing to “establish full diplomatic relations between Dublin and Ramallah.”

According to the Irish government, “an Ambassador of Ireland to the State of Palestine will be appointed along with a full Embassy of Ireland in Ramallah.”

Dublin also reiterated its call “for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, the release of Israeli hostages and unhindered access for humanitarian aid.”

Ireland’s announcement came on the heels of Spain’s formal recognition of a “State of Palestine” within the 1967 lines, with eastern Jerusalem as its capital and including the Gaza Strip.

“With this decision, Spain joins the more than 140 countries that already recognize Palestine,” said Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez at an event marking the announcement. “This is a historic decision that has a single goal: to contribute to achieving peace between Israelis and [Palestinians].”

For the Palestinian state to be viable, he continued, Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip must be connected via a corridor; eastern Jerusalem must be its capital; and it must be unified under the “legitimate government” of the Palestinian Authority.

Oslo also announced its formal recognition of Palestine on Tuesday.

“For more than 30 years, Norway has been one of the strongest advocates for a Palestinian state,” said Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide ahead of the move.

“Today, when Norway officially recognizes Palestine as a state, is a milestone in the relationship between Norway and Palestine,” he said.

Oslo’s top diplomat then turned to Jerusalem, saying, “It is regrettable that the Israeli government shows no signs of engaging constructively.”

Speaking in Brussels on Sunday, P.A. Prime Minister Mohammad Mustafa told Eide, “Recognition means a lot to us. It is the most important thing that anybody can do for the Palestinian people. It is a great deal for us.”

Meanwhile, lawmakers in Denmark on Tuesday rejected a bill to recognize “Palestine,” after Danish Foreign Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen said the prerequisites for an independent state were lacking.

The bill was first proposed in late February by the country’s Red-Green Alliance, the Social Liberals, the Alternative and Socialist People’s Party.

“We cannot recognize an independent Palestinian state for the sole reason that the preconditions are not really there,” Rasmussen had noted when the legislation was first debated in parliament in April.

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