More EU Countries Ready to Recognize Palestine as Restrictions Diminish

More EU Countries Ready to Recognize Palestine as Restrictions Diminish

As the Irish leader, Simon Harris, put it: “You can’t say you’re in favor of a two-state solution and not recognize the very existence of two states.” (File photo)

European governments no longer consider recognizing Palestine a “taboo,” according to Sven Koopmans, the EU’s special representative for the Middle East peace process.

Koopmans informed Haaretz that several EU member states are "highly likely" to follow the recent recognition steps taken by Spain, Norway, and Ireland.

Koopmans, who has held his position since 2021, indicated that the recent coordinated recognition of Palestine by these three nations has prompted other EU countries to seriously consider taking similar actions. This shift comes amid increasing concern over the Israeli government's recent statements and actions, particularly those opposing the two-state solution and aiming to dismantle the Palestinian Authority. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has firmly rejected the idea of an independent Palestinian state.

The diplomat also criticized Israel's continued military operations in Rafah, stating that these actions violate an International Court of Justice order that restricts combat in Gaza's southernmost city. "ICJ orders are binding and explicit," Koopmans emphasized to Haaretz, highlighting the severe suffering caused by these violations.

Koopmans plans to address Israeli officials next week regarding the ongoing conflict in Gaza, which has resulted in the deaths of over 35,000 Palestinians, predominantly women and children, and has precipitated a severe humanitarian crisis. He stressed that Israel, as the occupying power, is obligated to ensure the provision of sufficient aid to prevent starvation in Gaza, despite Egypt's refusal to allow aid into the enclave.

The EU has maintained a clear stance since the conflict began, demanding the unconditional release of all Israeli hostages. Koopmans described their prolonged captivity as "unbelievable" and called for a comprehensive agreement that includes a ceasefire and the return of all hostages.

In discussions with Arab foreign ministers, European countries were urged to officially recognize a Palestinian state. Koopmans pointed out that Israel has an opportunity to strengthen its relations with Arab nations, provided it accepts a peace framework with the Palestinians.

He further noted that despite collaborative efforts with the Americans and Arabs to lay the groundwork for peace, the Israeli government's rejection of the two-state solution poses a significant challenge, urging opponents to propose viable alternatives.

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