Spain Recognizes Palestine Along with Ireland and Norway, Israel Recalls Its Ambassadors

For Spain's prime minister, Pedro Sanchez, it's a way to speed up the two-state solution

On June 28, Spain, Ireland, and Norway will recognize the State of Palestine. The three European countries will join more than 140 of the 193 UN member states that already recognize the Palestinian state.

“Spain recognizes the State of Palestine. This is a historic decision with a single objective: to achieve peace between Israelis and Palestinians,” explained Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, adding that “this is not a declaration against anyone, much less against Israel, a friendly people with whom we want to have the best possible relations,” but also noted that he “does not recognize changes to the 1967 borders that are not agreed between the parties.” Thus, a state comprising the West Bank and Gaza with a land corridor that connects them, East Jerusalem as the capital, and the Palestinian Authority as the authority.

But Israel’s response has been very harsh, with Foreign Minister Israel Katz saying: “Khamenei, Sinwar, and Spanish Deputy Prime Minister Yolanda Diaz demand the elimination of Israel and the establishment of a Palestinian Islamic terrorist state from the river to the sea,” he wrote on X social media. “Prime Minister Sanchez, if you don’t fire your deputy and announce the recognition of a Palestinian state, you will be complicit in the genocide of the Jews and war crimes.”

There will also be recognition in Ireland, with the Palestinian flag flying in Dublin and Prime Minister Simon Harris explaining that “the Irish people know that a two-state solution is the only way to bring peace and stability to the Israeli people and the Palestinians.”

In Europe, however, opinions are contradictory. Sanchez hopes the entire EU will follow Spain’s lead. Sweden, Cyprus, Hungary, Czechia, Poland, Slovakia, Romania, and Bulgaria, among the 27 members of the European Union, have already recognized the Palestinian state. Malta and Slovenia have said they may follow suit. The three largest countries – Germany, France, and Italy – say now is not the time.

Israel’s official response was to recall ambassadors from Madrid, Oslo, and Dublin.