Israeli army attacks Rafah despite outrage over deadly attack: Live updates

Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez of Spain announced Spain’s recognition of a Palestinian state, on television in a bar in Madrid on Tuesday.Credit…Susana Vera/Reuters

Three European countries officially recognized an independent Palestinian state on Tuesday, angering Israel as it continues to push its military offensive in Gaza.

Previously announced moves by Spain, Norway and Ireland were largely symbolicbut serves as a rebuke to Israel in the face of growing international frustration with its military offensive in Gaza and its occupation of Palestinian territories over the years.

They also come amid global outrage over an Israeli airstrike on Sunday that killing dozens of people at a camp for displaced Palestinians in Rafah, despite international calls for the army to limit its offensive in the southern city of Gaza. Analysts said growing concerns about civilian deaths could prompt more countries to follow suit.

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz on Tuesday accused Spain’s Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, was complicit in inciting Jews because of his role in recognizing a Palestinian state.

But Mr. Sánchez rejected that claim in a speech Tuesday ahead of a cabinet vote on the issue, calling recognition a matter of “historic justice” and a “necessity” to achieve be at peace.

“The recognition of Palestine is not against anyone, especially Israel, a friendly country that Spain values ​​and appreciates and which which we look forward to fostering the strongest possible relationship.” minister’s residence in Madrid. Furthermore, our decision reflects our absolute opposition to Hamas, a terrorist organization that opposes the two-state solution.”

Ireland – which on Tuesday flew a Palestinian flag outside the presidential palace, along with those of the European Union and Ukraine – said it had agreed to establish full diplomatic relations and would appoint an ambassador to the country. Palestine. “We have made this move together with Spain and Norway to keep the miracle of peace alive,” Irish Prime Minister Simon Harris said. “I once again call on Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel to listen to the world and stop the humanitarian disaster we are witnessing in Gaza.”

From left, flags of Norway, South Africa, Palestine, Ireland and Spain fly at the entrance to Ramallah in the occupied West Bank.Credit…Zain Jaafar/Agence France-Presse – Getty Images

While many countries recognized the state of PalestineThe closely coordinated moves by the three European nations have taken on added weight amid the growing toll of the war in Gaza, and because most Western European countries and the United States have opposed implementation. such a step to show solidarity with Israel.

Jonas Gahr Store, the prime minister of Norway, said in an interview last week that his country was acting alongside Spain and Ireland in an effort to save the possibility of a two-state solution before the Israeli government had Publicly rejected it.

Mr. Store said Norway is hoping to break what he sees as a “downward spiral, with militant groups such as Hamas setting an agenda toward Palestine” and the Israeli government “establishing hundreds of thousands of settlement” on occupied land.

And even if the reality of the two states seems distant, Mr. Store said, “many countries in Europe are making the same analysis as Norway, that Palestinians should have the same rights and obligations that required statehood,” committed to peace and harmony. bound by international law.

The moves are likely to have little immediate impact on the living conditions of Palestinians in Gaza, where health authorities say more than 36,000 people have been killed in more than seven months of Israeli bombing and ground fighting. .

The White House has flatly rejected unilateral recognition of Palestinian statehood, with Adrienne Watson, a spokeswoman for the National Security Council, saying that President Biden “believes that a Palestinian state should be realized through direct negotiations between the parties.

Aaron the boxer, Steven Erlanger And Emma Bubola Report contributions.

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