Israel Recalls Ambassadors After Norway and Ireland Recognize Palestinian State

Norway and Ireland today announced their recognition of the State of Palestine, shortly thereafter, Spain confirmed it would recognize Palestine too, with Malta and Slovenia expected to follow suit

by Sededin Dedovic
Israel Recalls Ambassadors After Norway and Ireland Recognize Palestinian State
© Samuel Corum / Getty Images

Israel responded immediately after this morning's announcement by Norway and Ireland that they will recognize the State of Palestine on May 28th. Similar measures were announced against Spain if it "fulfills its intention to recognize the State of Palestine," reports The Guardian.

An urgent recall of ambassadors from Ireland and Norway was ordered from Tel Aviv. Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz shared a post on the social network X, stating: "I have ordered the urgent recall of Israeli ambassadors from Ireland and Norway for consultations in light of these countries' decisions to recognize the State of Palestine.

I send a clear and unequivocal message to Ireland and Norway: Israel will not remain silent in the face of those who undermine our sovereignty and threaten our security.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz Few years ago© GPO / Getty Images

Today's decision sends a message to Palestinians and the world: terrorism pays off.

After the terrorist organization Hamas carried out the largest massacre of Jews since the Holocaust, committing heinous crimes witnessed by the world, these countries decided to reward Hamas and Iran by recognizing the State of Palestine." He assessed this "distorted step" by these countries as "an injustice to the memory of the victims of October 7, a blow to efforts to return the 128 hostages, and an incentive to Hamas and Iranian jihadists, undermining the chance for peace and questioning Israel's right to self-defense.

Israel will not remain silent—there will be severe consequences. If Spain fulfills its intention to recognize the State of Palestine, a similar step will be taken against it," stated Katz. He added that the "Irish-Norwegian folly" will not deter them.

"We are determined to achieve our goals: restoring security to our citizens, dismantling Hamas, and bringing the hostages home. There are no juster causes than these." Norway will recognize the existence of the Palestinian state starting May 28th, announced Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre today, despite warnings from the Israeli government.

"We believe that the two-state solution is in Israel's best interest," the Norwegian Prime Minister said at a specially convened press conference. He added that the goal is "to achieve a Palestinian state that is politically cohesive and stems from Palestinian self-governance." Like Norway, Ireland's recognition will formally come into effect on May 28th, confirmed on behalf of Ireland by Simon Harris, Micheál Martin, and Eamon Ryan.

The three leaders of the Irish government—Prime Minister Simon Harris, Deputy Prime Minister Micheál Martin, and Minister Eamon Ryan—held a press conference this morning. They had previously hinted that the government would take a step towards recognizing Palestinian statehood by the end of May.

National public broadcaster RTE and the Irish Times reported that the decision was expected to be announced at the press conference. Ireland thus became the country to adopt the decision to recognize Palestine in the first wave.

"I stood here a few weeks ago with the Spanish Prime Minister. That moment has come. Today Ireland recognizes the State of Palestine. We will take the necessary national steps to make the decision final. I look forward to other countries joining us in the coming weeks.

This is a historic moment for Ireland but also for Palestine. We believe in freedom and justice. We believe that lasting peace is only possible by the free will of free people," said Simon Harris at the press conference.

Pedro Sanchez, Prime Minister of Spain© Marcelo del Pozo / Getty Images

Immediately after the announcements from Norway and Ireland, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez announced the date when Madrid will recognize the State of Palestine.

It is also May 28th. "The time has come to move from words to deeds. We will defend the Palestinian state out of coherence. We defend the same decision in Ukraine and Palestine," said Sánchez. After this statement, there was a big round of applause in the Spanish Congress, primarily from left-wing representatives, including the Socialist Workers' Party and the Sumar movement.

Spain has good relations with many Arab countries, especially those in the Maghreb region, as well as with Turkey. These ties were partly maintained since Franco's dictatorship (1939-1975), and in the years following World War II, these countries protected Spain from economic and political isolation between the West and the Eastern Bloc.

After Franco's dictatorship ended in 1975, Spain established economic relations with Israel and diplomatic relations in 1986. In the following years, Spain gained a respected position as a mediator between the Jewish state and the Arab world.

The Middle East conference in Madrid in 1991 is considered the beginning of the peace process that ended with the Oslo agreement between the Palestinians and Israel, reports DW. Malta and Slovenia are also expected to make similar decisions in the coming days, as they previously announced in a joint statement recognizing Palestine.

At least on the diplomatic level, May 2024 is likely to go down in Palestinian history as an exceptionally successful month: The United Nations General Assembly (UN) voted to grant Palestinians additional rights within the UN.

They only lack voting rights to become full members, reports Deutsche Welle.