update deskIsrael-Palestinian Conflict

Spain, Ireland, Slovenia to recognize Palestinian state

The U.N. General Assembly is slated to vote on a resolution that would grant the Palestinians additional perks.

Arabs gather and wave a Palestinian flag at the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem's Old City, during the Muslim month of Ramadan, April 26, 2021. Photo by Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90.
Arabs gather and wave a Palestinian flag at the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem's Old City, during the Muslim month of Ramadan, April 26, 2021. Photo by Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90.

Spain, Ireland and other European Union countries plan to recognize a Palestinian state on May 21, Brussels’ foreign-policy chief Josep Borrell confirmed on Thursday.

He was speaking ahead of a U.N. General Assembly vote on Friday on a resolution that would grant the Palestinians additional perks, following the Security Council’s rejection of their full membership.

An annex to the resolution, which could be revised ahead of the vote, would grant unprecedented rights to a non-member observer state, which has been the Palestinians’ status for the past 12 years.

Those benefits would include the right to be elected to committees, to submit proposals and amendments, to raise procedural motions and to be seated among member states in alphabetical order—all privileges not granted to the institution’s other non-member observer state, the Vatican Holy See, or to the European Union, which holds similar status.

The Slovenian government earlier on Thursday said that it would be taking steps to recognize a Palestinian state, claiming the move would act as an incentive to restart peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

Borrell recently revealed that five E.U. countries are expected to recognize a Palestinian state by this summer.

Israel previously criticized the reported plans, calling it a “prize for terrorism” that would reduce the chances of a negotiated resolution.

Israeli Foreign Minister Spokesperson Oren Marmorstein tweeted on April 29: “These days, every statement about the possibility that European countries will recognize a Palestinian state is a prize for Hamas terrorists, who carried out the largest massacre of Jews since the Holocaust.

“Only direct negotiations between the parties will lead to peace,” Marmorstein added.

The Bahamas also formally recognized Palestinian statehood this week, joining other Caribbean nations that have previously done so.

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