Students camp at the University of Barcelona in support of Palestinians in Gaza, as Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced the recognition of an independent Palestinian state on May 22, 2024. Image Credit: REUTERS

Madrid: Ireland, Spain and Norway announced on Wednesday that they would recognise a Palestinian state on May 28, saying they hoped other Western countries would follow suit, prompting Israel to recall its ambassadors.

Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said the move was aimed at accelerating efforts to secure a ceasefire in Israel’s war with Hamas in Gaza.

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Ireland’s Prime Minister Simon Harris announced the decision at a news conference in Dublin. He added that Ireland was unequivocal in recognising Israel’s right to exist “securely and in peace with its neighbours”, and calling for all hostages in Gaza to be immediately returned.

In Oslo, Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store said the only possible political solution between Israelis and Palestinians is “two states living side by side in peace and security”.

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Norway said the demarcation of the two states should be based on pre-1967 borders, with Jerusalem as capital of both, but added that its border recognition should not prejudice negotiations over ultimate border lines.

Ireland also said the borders should be along 1967 lines.

The following is a complete list of countries that do not recognise Palestinian state:

Europe: Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Moldova, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Slovenia, Switzerland, England, Monaco, San Marino and Portugal

Americas: Bahamas, Canada, Mexico, Panama, United States, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and Jamaica

Asia: Japan, Myanmar, Singapore, South Korea and Armenia

The Middle East: Israel

Oceania: Fiji, Kiribati, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Australia, New Zealand, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Marshall Islands, Palau, Tuvalu and Tonga

Africa: Cameroon and Eritrea

Meanwhile, Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz ordered the immediate return of the Israeli ambassadors from the three countries for consultations, and warned of further “severe consequences”.

Around 143 out of 193 member-states of the United Nations recognise Palestine as a state, including most of the global south, Russia, China and India. But only a handful of the 27 EU members have done so, mostly former Communist countries as well as Sweden and Cyprus.

Britain, Australia and EU member Malta have indicated in recent months that they could soon follow suit.


Recognition of a Palestinian state is still opposed for now by Israel’s closest ally the United States, which has the power to veto it at the United Nations and did so last month.

Washington says it favours Palestinian statehood eventually, but only as a result of negotiations with Israel, a position it shares with European powers including France and Germany.

On Wednesday Germany said it was a matter that required further dialogue. France said the issue was not a taboo for Paris, but the conditions had not yet been met.

The decision by the three countries marks a further step in Israel’s international isolation, which has grown sharply since its forces began their assault in Gaza in response to the Hamas-led attack on Israel on Oct. 7.

The decision will not produce any immediate changes on the ground in either Gaza or the West Bank but it steps up the pressure for a resumption in long-stalled efforts to reach a political settlement based on an independent Palestinian state existing alongside Israel.