Ireland, Spain, Norway to recognise Palestine

  • Ireland, Spain and Norway say they will recognise Palestine as a state, call other countries to follow suit.
  • Israeli forces thrust deeper into the Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza, attacking a hospital with artillery and sniper fire and destroying residential areas with tank and air bombardment.

    Gallant expands law that allows evicted Israeli settlers to return

    Israeli newspaper Haaretz reports that Defence Minister Gallant has announced he will expand the law to allow Israeli settlers, who were evicted during a 2005 disengagement plan, to return to settlements in the occupied West Bank.

    Haaretz reported that the expanded law includes areas where the settlements of Sa-Nur, Ganim and Kadim were located.

    Settlers are Israeli citizens who live on private Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. The vast majority of the settlements have been built either entirely or partially on private Palestinian land.

    Hamas official says European recognition is a ‘turning point on Palestinian issue’

    Bassem Naim, a senior member of Hamas’s political bureau, says it was the “brave resistance” of the Palestinian people that spurred Norway, Ireland and Spain to announce that they will recognise Palestine as a state.

    “These successive recognitions are the direct result of this brave resistance and the legendary steadfastness of the Palestinian people,” he told AFP.

    “We believe this will be a turning point in the international position on the Palestinian issue.”

    ‘It is past time for Palestine to take its place amongst nations of the world’

    In a video shared on social media, Irish foreign minister Micheal Martin says his country has laid out its “unambiguous support for the equal right to security, dignity, and self-determination for the Palestinian and Israeli peoples”.

    Netanyahu will use Norway, Ireland, Spain’s decisions to push ‘victimhood’ narrative

    Akiva Eldar, a political columnist at Israeli publication Haaretz, has told Al Jazeera that the recognition of the Palestinian state by Norway, Spain and Ireland goes against “Netanyahu and the majority of the Israeli Knesset’s philosophy never to agree to a Palestinian state, especially not unilaterally”.

    “Just a few months ago, the majority of the Knesset passed a very weird resolution against any unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state,” he said.

    Eldar added that he believes that Netanyahu will frame the recognition “as another demonstration of anti-Semitism, victimhood” and use it in his narrative “that the world is against us”.

    Recognition of Palestinian state a ‘blow’ to Netanyahu’s ‘extremist’ government

    Longtime Palestinian politician Mustafa Barghouti said recognition of the Palestinian state by Ireland, Spain and Norway was a “powerful political and symbolically-significant step” that moved the achievement of “freedom and justice” closer for the Palestinian people.

    “It is a very important step in determining the rights of the Palestinian people – our people – for self-determination,” Barghouti told Al Jazeera.

    “Also, it blows away a lot of the defacto effects that Israel has created through settlement building on the ground – by confirming that Palestine today is a state under occupation,” Barghouti said.

    “So, any efforts of the occupying power to change facts on the ground is meaningless and will not have an impact in the long run,” he said.

    “This is also a blow to Netanyahu and his extreme government, and to the fascists in his government… It means the acts of fascism and extremism in the Israeli government has no future,” he added.

    PLO thanks countries recognising Palestinian statehood

    Hussein al-Sheikh, the secretary-general of the executive committee of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, has expressed gratitude after the announcements by Spain, Ireland and Norway that they will recognise Palestinian statehood.

    “Historical moments in which the free world triumphs for truth and justice after long decades of Palestinian national struggle, suffering, pain, occupation, racism, murder, oppression, abuse and destruction to which the people of Palestine were subjected,” he said on X.

    “We thank the countries of the world that have recognized and will recognize the independent State of Palestine,” al-Sheikh added.

    Ireland will recognise Palestinian state: Irish PM

    Ireland’s Prime Minister Simon Harris says that Ireland, Norway and Spain will recognise the state of Palestine today.

    “Each of us will now undertake whatever national steps are necessary to give effect to that decision,” he told a news conference.

    “I’m confident that further countries will join us in taking this important step in the coming weeks.”

    More from Spain’s Sanchez

    Speaking in the Spanish parliament, Pedro Sanchez has said that his Israeli counterpart, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, is putting the two-state solution in “danger” with his policy of “pain and destruction” in Gaza.

    “Next Tuesday, May 28, Spain’s cabinet will approve the recognition of the Palestinian state,” the Spanish prime minister said.

    Norway recognition of Palestine state a ‘momentous occasion’

    This is a major statement.

    We are expecting this to be followed by Ireland a little bit later. Malta, Slovenia and Spain are also publicly saying that they are going to look at recognising the state of Palestine.

    This is a momentous occasion for the Palestinians.

    It’s perhaps unsurprising that Norway has taken the lead on this because they were behind the Oslo Accords – the agreement in 1993 that really did two things: it recognised the Palestine Liberation Organization, the PLO, as the legitimate representatives of the Palestinian people; and it also put into place the Palestinian Authority (PA), which had limited powers within the occupied West Bank.

    This is going to be a boost for the PA.

    It’s going to come as somewhat of a problem for the Israelis though, because they have already said that they want a moderate force within Gaza for the “day after”. But they are not really looking at the PA.

    ‘Some reflection’ among European countries on whether to recognise Palestine: Norway’s PM

    Gahr Store responded in English to a reporter’s question about whether other countries also plan to recognise Palestine.

    He said he expected several European countries to make announcements today.

    “My impression is that there is reflection going on in some more countries, but I will not go into detail on that. I think they will make their position known when they are ready to do so,” he said.

    “The United States have responded to us that they are not in a position or not ready to make that … recommendation. But they have understood, and they respect the decision we have taken,” he added.

    PM says Spain to recognise Palestine as a state

    Pedro Sanchez, Spain’s prime minister, says the recognition will take place on May 28.

    Israel recalls envoys to Norway, Ireland for ‘urgent consultations’

    Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz is recalling his country’s ambassadors to Norway and Ireland over 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,” Katz said in a statement.

    “I have just ordered the return of the Israeli ambassadors from Dublin and Oslo to Israel for further consultations in Jerusalem,” he added.

    Only 30-35% of Hamas fighters killed since October 7: Report

    US government intelligence indicates that only 30-35 percent of Hamas fighters have been killed in Israel’s assault on Gaza since October 7, while 65 percent of the group’s tunnels remain intact, news outlet Politico reports.

    Citing a person familiar with US intelligence, the outlet says Biden officials have also expressed concern that Hamas has been able to recruit thousands of new fighters over the last several months.

    Last week, US Deputy Secretary of State Kurt Campbell said Joe Biden’s administration does not believe that Israel’s stated strategy of pursuing “total victory” over Hamas in Gaza is feasible.

    More from Norway’s prime minister

    Gahr Store, speaking in Norwegian, explained his government’s reasons for recognising Palestine as a state.

    He said:

    • We must keep alive the only alternative that offers a political solution for Israelis and Palestinians alike – two states, living side by side in peace and security.
    • Recognition of Palestine can strengthen the moderate forces in Palestine, those working for a two-state solution. It can also strengthen moderate forces on the Israeli side and it can provide hope for the future for the Palestinians.
    • This also sends a strong message to other countries to follow the example of Norway and a number of other European countries and recognise the state of Palestine.
    • The ongoing war in Gaza has made it abundantly clear that achieving peace and stability must be predicated on resolving the Palestinian question.
    • The goal is to achieve a Palestinian state that is politically cohesive and that derives from the Palestinian Authority.
    • We believe the two-state solution is in Israel’s best interests.
    • Attacks continue across Gaza as Israel presses offensive

    • Over the past 24 hours, the Israeli military has been pressing on with its military offensive across multiple areas, including az-Zawayda, just 3km from our location in Deir el-Balah.It is a town in the middle of Gaza where Palestinians have been told to seek refuge. In the latest attack on a gathering of residents, at least 10 Palestinians have been reported killed, including a pregnant woman.

      Attacks have continued in other parts of the Gaza Strip, including the north of the territory in the Jabalia refugee camp where six Palestinians have been reported killed.

      It’s worth remembering that the military operation in Jabalia is still ongoing with emergency rescue teams struggling to recover victims from under the remnants of the shattered buildings in that camp.

      At least 300 houses have been destroyed in the ongoing military bombardment of that densely populated area.

      Norway will recognise Palestinian statehood on May 28

      More from the Norwegian prime minister.

      Gahr Store, speaking in Oslo, said Norway’s recognition of Palestine as a state will take place on May 28. “There cannot be peace in the Middle East if there is no recognition,” he said.

      Israeli military says it has killed ‘significant’ Hamas operative

      The Israeli military says it “struck and eliminated” a Hamas antitank missile operative in southern Gaza’s Khan Younis city.

      It identified the fighter as Ahmed Yasser Alkara, describing him as a “significant” Hamas member who participated in the October 7 attacks on southern Israel and carried out attacks on Israeli soldiers in Gaza.

      Also killed in the strike targeting Alkara were Hamas fighter Saib Raed Abu Riba and Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s Ans Muhammad Abu Ragila, according to the Israeli military.

      The military also said it carried out an air strike killing five Hamas fighters sheltering in a school in Gaza City.

      Norway to recognise Palestinian statehood

      Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store has announced that his country will recognise an independent Palestinian state.

      Casualties mount as Israeli jets, artillery, quadcopter drones attack Gaza overnight

      The Gaza Strip was hit by another night of Israeli air strikes, artillery fire and drone attacks that resulted in casualties from Jabalia in the north to Rafah city in the south, according to the Palestinian state news agency Wafa.

      We reported earlier on the overnight attack that killed 10 people, including a pregnant woman and her unborn child, in the al-Zawayda area near to the Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza.

      Wafa reports that six people were also killed in a missile strike on the home of the Abu Zaida family in the Faluga area of Jabalia, in northern Gaza, while Israeli shelling injured several people in the Tal al-Hawa neighbourhood of Gaza city.

      Israeli warplanes also attacked the Zeitoun neighbourhood in Gaza City, killing at least two people and leaving an unknown number injured.

      In southern Rafah city, several people were injured in an Israel artillery strike on the home of the Farhat family in the Tal as-Sultan neighbourhood, while jet fighters and quadcopter drones attacked the centre of the city.

      More than 1,400 Israeli academics sign petition calling for end to Gaza war

      Academics and administrators from higher education institutions across Israel have signed a petition calling on the Israeli government to end its war on Gaza and secure the return of captives held in the Palestinian enclave.

      The petition, titled “A Call on the Israeli Government to End the War and Ensure the Return of the Hostages”, states that the end of the war and the return of captives are “moral imperatives that align with Israel’s interests”.

      The signatories add that while it supports Israel’s right to self-defence, “this initial purpose has been exhausted” and the government does not have the right to “wage a war without a realistic end or one aimed at the political survival of the leadership”.

      Hamas’s Haniyeh attends Raisi’s funeral in Tehran

      Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh has paid tribute to the late Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi at his funeral at the Tehran University.

      “I come in the name of the Palestinian people, in the name of the resistance factions of Gaza … to express our condolences,” Haniyeh told those gathered.

      He recounted meeting Raisi in Tehran during Ramadan, the holy Muslim fasting month, and heard the president say the Palestinian issue remains the key one of the Muslim world.

      The Muslim world “must fulfil their obligations to the Palestinians to liberate their land”, Haniyeh said, recounting Raisi’s words. He also described Raisi calling Hamas’s October 7 attack in southern Israel an “earthquake in the heart of the Zionist entity”.

      What’s happening at the Kamal Adwan Hospital?

      Israeli forces are again attacking hospitals in Gaza, including Kamal Adwan in the northern town of Beit Lahiya.

      Here’s what you need to know:

      • The latest assault on Kamal Adwan Hospital began on Monday, according to the Wafa news agency, with artillery attacks on the building and missiles striking the emergency department.
      • The attack forced dozens of medical staff and patients to flee, with videos of the evacuation showing one man cradling a newborn baby wrapped in blue cloth and an elderly man being bumped on a wheeled stretcher along the shattered streets.
      • The Palestinian Health Ministry said there were approximately 150 medical staff and dozens of patients at Kamal Adwan when it came under attack, including ICU patients and newborns in incubators. It said the evacuation took place under Israeli fire.
      • The WHO said Kamal Adwan is the largest partially functional hospital in northern Gaza and the only one providing haemodialysis. It said the evacuation of health workers and patients would make it nonfunctional, further depleting health services.
      • Israeli forces had earlier laid siege to the facility and raided it in December last year, causing extensive damage and arresting many health workers. That attack resulted in the death of at least eight patients.

        WATCH: Palestinians in Gaza surviving on just 3 litres of water per day, says the UN

        Clean drinking water has become one of the rarest and most valuable commodities in Gaza.

        Most Palestinians in Gaza are getting only a fifth of the water they need to survive, about three litres each day for all of their needs, according to the United Nations.

        Much of that is polluted and salty, leading to a public health crisis due to the spread of diseases.

        Norway to recognise Palestinian state: Reports

        Norway’s government will announce today that it recognises an independent Palestinian state, public broadcaster NRK and daily Aftenposten have reported, citing unnamed sources.

        The reports from Norway come as Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez is set to announce today a date for formally recognising Palestinian statehood.

        Ireland is also expected to announce today its plans for the recognition of Palestine.

        Israeli forces targeted with ‘vehicle-borne’ IEDs in West Bank: Monitors

        The Israeli military intentionally detonated a “vehicle-borne improvised explosive device” (VBIED) it encountered in the occupied West Bank’s Tubas city on Monday, in what was the second discovery of a vehicle-borne IED in the area since the war in Gaza began in October, monitors report.

        In their daily update on the war in Gaza and the conflict between Israeli forces and Palestinian fighters in the occupied territory, two US-based defence think tanks said the use of vehicle-borne bombs by Palestinian resistance groups comes at a time when they are “using larger and higher quality explosives to target Israeli forces”.

        The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) and the Critical Threats Project (CTP) said in their joint, daily report that it was unknown just how sophisticated the VBIED was that the Israeli forces detonated in Tubas.

        If you’re just joining us

        Here are the main developments from overnight:

        • Israel has carried out attacks across Gaza, including a strike on the Nuseirat refugee camp that killed 10 people, including a pregnant woman.
        • The death toll from Israel’s military raid on the Jenin refugee camp has risen to eight, the Palestine Red Crescent Society reported.
        • PM Netanyahu has signalled his opposition to re-establishing Israeli settlements in Gaza, saying “it was never on the cards”.
        • Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez is set to announce a date for formally recognising Palestinian statehood in parliament today.
        • Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said the US could sanction International Criminal Court officials following a request for arrest warrants to be issued for Israeli leaders over alleged war crimes in Gaza.

          Will ICC action deepen Israel’s international isolation?

          In nearly seven months of war, more than 35,000 Palestinians have been killed and large parts of the Gaza Strip destroyed.

          The International Criminal Court’s top prosecutor says Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Yoav Gallant bear criminal responsibility for war crimes and crimes against humanity. ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan has also applied for arrest warrants for three Hamas leaders for the October 7 attack on Israel.

          So what does this mean for the devastating war on Gaza?

          And how does international legal pressure on Israel affect the realities on the ground?

          Netanyahu says opposed to Israeli settlements in Gaza

          Netanyahu has signalled his opposition to re-establishing settlements, which are illegal under international law, in Gaza, saying “it was never in the cards”.

          “Some of my constituents are not happy about it, but that’s my position,” he told CNN.

          In the interview, Netanyahu also called for the “sustained demilitarisation of Gaza” and a “civilian administration that is run by Gazans who are neither Hamas nor committed to our destruction”.

          He also called for the “reconstruction of Gaza” to be led by the “moderate Arab states and the international community”.

          Arab states have asserted that they will only be involved in the reconstruction of Gaza if Israel provides a pathway to Palestinian statehood.

          The Elders group says all states should respect ICC’s authority

          Mary Robinson, the chair of The Elders group of world leaders and former Irish president, has commended ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan on his application for arrest warrants to apprehend Israeli and Hamas leaders.

          In a statement, Robinson said the ICC’s decision was “a landmark moment in the struggle for justice and accountability in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict”.

          “There is a case to answer on both sides, which should be heard in a court of law,” said Robinson, a former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

          “All states should respect the Court’s authority and impartiality, and ensure its decisions are implemented,” she said.

          US House leader to invite Netanyahu to address Congress despite ICC warrant request

          Mike Johnson, the Republican Speaker of the US House of Representatives, has said he is moving ahead with an invitation to the Israeli prime minister to address US lawmakers.

          The comments came a day after the ICC chief prosecutor requested an arrest warrant for Netanyahu on allegations of committing war crimes in Gaza.

          Johnson said the invitation has not yet been sent because he was waiting for the Democratic leader of the Senate, Chuck Schumer, to sign a letter of invitation to a joint session.

          If Schumer does not do so by Tuesday, “we’re going to proceed and invite Netanyahu just to the House”, Johnson said.

          Addresses to joint meetings of Congress by foreign leaders are a rare honour generally reserved for the closest US allies, or major world figures. Netanyahu has already given three such addresses, most recently in 2015.

          UNRWA suspends Rafah food distribution as Israeli attacks restrict aid flow

          The UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, has suspended food distribution in Rafah due to Israeli attacks on the city and a lack of supplies.

          More than half of Gaza’s population depends on food aid from UNRWA, but the UN body reports that food to replenish its warehouses has not entered the Gaza Strip for weeks.

          US official says Israel addressed Biden’s concerns on Rafah attack plans: Reports

          A senior US official says Israel has addressed many of President Joe Biden’s concerns regarding the ongoing ground assault on Rafah, according to news agencies.

          “It’s fair to say, I think the Israelis have updated their plans. They’ve incorporated many of the concerns that we have expressed,” the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, was quoted as saying.

          The AFP and AP news agencies’ reports did not say if the official provided details of the changes the Israelis had made to their plans for the Rafah offensive, which has forcibly displaced more than 800,000 people. Most of those fleeing the city have gone to central Khan Younis and Deir el-Balah, where overcrowding and lack of water and sanitation services has resulted in “horrendous” conditions, according to UN officials.

          Biden previously said he would not support an Israeli assault on Rafah – which had been sheltering more than 1.4 million people – without a plan to safeguard civilians.

          The US official said the updates to the Israeli attack plan for Rafah followed White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan’s trip to Israel.

          WHO, Japan sign $10m deal to support Gaza health response

          The World Health Organization (WHO) and the government of Japan have signed a $10m agreement to bolster the emergency health response in Gaza, according to a statement.

          The WHO said only 30 percent of Gaza’s hospitals were partially operational and the funding from Japan “will play a critical role in maintaining the functionality of health facilities by supplying essential medicines, medical equipment, and supplies”.

          WATCH: Kamal Adwan Hospital attacked – People flee after Israeli army opens fire

          Israel forces are once again laying siege to hospitals in the Gaza Strip.

          The World Health Organization says almost 200 people – patients, their relatives and medical workers – have been trapped inside the al-Awda Hospital in Jabalia, northern Gaza, since Sunday. Israeli snipers are aiming at the building and a rocket has struck the fifth floor.

          The Israeli military also opened fire on the Kamal Adwan Hospital in Beit Lahiya, forcing staff and displaced Palestinians to flee.

          Israeli military raids and Palestinian resistance in Jenin

          Eight people have been confirmed killed and at least 21 injured in the latest Israeli military raid on the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank.

          A medic at the scene of the killings on Tuesday said Israeli forces – who killed a Palestinian teacher, a doctor and two teenagers aged 15 and 16, among others – opened fire indiscriminately “at any moving body in the street”.

Related Articles

Back to top button