File photo: People attend a demonstration in support of Gaza and Palestinians
File photo: People attend a demonstration in support of Gaza and Palestinians, organised by the Palestine Committee, outside the building of the Norwegian parliament, Stortinget, in Oslo, Norway, November 4, 2023. Image Credit: REUTERS

Jerusalem: Norway will recognise an independent Palestinian state in the hope that this will help to bring peace with Israel, Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere said on Wednesday.

Ireland and Spain will also announce the recognition of a Palestinian state, sources said on Wednesday.

European Union members Slovenia and Malta have also indicated in recent weeks that they plan to make the recognition, arguing a two-state solution is essential for lasting peace in the region.

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"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 told a press conference.

Israel recalls envoys to Ireland, Norway
Jerusalem: Israel recalled its envoys from Ireland and Norway for "urgent consultations" Wednesday ahead of the two governments' expected moves to formally recognise a Palestinian state.

"Today, I am sending a sharp message to Ireland and Norway: Israel will not go over this in silence. I have just ordered the return of the Israeli ambassadors from Dublin and Oslo to Israel for further consultations in Jerusalem," Foreign Minister Israel Katz said in a statement.

"The hasty steps of the two countries will have further serious consequences. If Spain realises its intention to recognise a Palestinian state, a similar step will be taken against it."

The Israeli foreign minister said the moves by the European countries were a reward for Palestinian militant group Hamas and its unprecedented October 7 attack, which resulted in the deaths of more than 1,170 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli official figures.

"Ireland and Norway intend to send a message to the Palestinians and the whole world today: Terrorism pays," Katz said.

"The twisted step of these countries is an injustice to the memory of the 7/10 victims."

Before the announcement, some 143 out of 193 member-states of the United Nations recognised a Palestinian state.

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European countries have approached the issue differently. Some, like Sweden, recognised a Palestinian state a decade ago, while France is not planning to do so unless it can be an effective tool to make progress towards peace.

The moves come as Israeli forces have led assaults on the northern and southern edges of the Gaza Strip in May, causing a new exodus of hundreds of thousands of people, and sharply restricted the flow of aid, raising the risk of famine.

Non-EU member Norway has long said it would recognise Palestine as a country only if it could have a positive impact on the peace process, in step with what the United States has said on the issue.

Norway is a close US ally, and the Nordic country has sought to help broker peace between Israel and the Palestinians on several occasions in recent decades.