update deskIsrael at War

Israel: European calls for Palestinian state ‘a reward for terrorism’

The plans by Spain, Malta, Slovenia and Ireland send the message that "murderous terror attacks on Israelis" will be rewarded, according to Jerusalem.

Then-Energy Minister Israel Katz attends a conference in Tel Aviv, March 13, 2023. Photo by Tomer Neuberg/Flash90.
Then-Energy Minister Israel Katz attends a conference in Tel Aviv, March 13, 2023. Photo by Tomer Neuberg/Flash90.

Israel on Monday condemned calls to recognize a Palestinian state in the wake of Hamas’s Oct. 7 massacre, which it said would constitute a “reward for terrorism” and reduce chances of a negotiated peace.

“The comments of the Prime Minister of Spain, Pedro Sánchez, about recognizing a Palestinian state, as well as the joint statement by Spain, Malta, Slovenia and Ireland about their readiness to recognize a Palestinian state, constitute a reward for terrorism,” Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Lior Haiat tweeted on Monday morning.

Such statements send “a message to Hamas and the other Palestinian terrorist organizations that murderous terror attacks on Israelis will be reciprocated with political gestures to the Palestinians,” he added.

“A resolution of the conflict will only be possible through direct negotiations,” he said, and “any engagement in the recognition of a Palestinian state only distances reaching a resolution and increases regional instability.”

On Friday, Madrid announced it had agreed with the governments of Ireland, Malta and Slovenia to take initial steps toward the recognition of a Palestinian state, saying in a joint statement they would do so when “it can make a positive contribution and the circumstances are right.”

The statement did not mention Hamas, which murdered some 1,200 Israelis on Oct. 7 in the worst one-day massacre of the Jewish people since the Holocaust. According to recent polls, most Palestinians in Gaza, Judea and Samaria view the terror group as “the most deserving of representing and leading the Palestinian people.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has come out forcefully against the prospect of any unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state.

“My position was and remains clear, and only got stronger after the terrible massacre of Oct. 7,” the premier stated last month.

“With or without a permanent settlement [with the Palestinians], Israel will maintain full security control over the entire area west of Jordan. This of course includes Judea and Samaria and the Gaza Strip,” he added.

On Feb. 21, the Israeli Knesset voted 99-11 to back the government’s decision to reject any unilateral recognition of “Palestine.” All coalition lawmakers and most members of the Zionist opposition parties voted in favor of supporting a Cabinet statement rejecting “international diktats regarding a permanent settlement with the Palestinians.”

Sixty-three percent of Israeli Jews oppose the establishment of a Palestinian state, and most believe that terrorism will either stay the same or increase should one be created, according to a recent poll.

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