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What does it mean to recognize a Palestinian state?

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The decision by three European countries — Ireland, Norway and Spain — to recognize the Palestinian state is in line with the Palestinian leadership’s long-term goal of gaining diplomatic acceptance, but its practical impact in the short term appears limited.

Broadly speaking, recognition of a state means declaring that the state meets the conditions for statehood under international law. It usually opens a path to establish diplomatic relations and embassies there. But European countries appear most concerned with expressing support for the Palestinians and sending a message to Israel at a time of growing international concern about Israel’s war conduct.

Norway’s representative office in the Palestinian Authority, established in the West Bank in 1999, will be converted into an embassy, ​​Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Bart Eide told a news conference. He did not reveal a specific date for the conversion but said the move would allow Norway to sign bilateral agreements.

Recognition would also “have some domestic legal effect in areas where issues related to the Palestinian state arise in Norway,” he said.

Statements from the leaders of Ireland and Spain focused on the need for peace in Gaza and the importance of a two-state solution, but made no mention of embassy or other immediate changes.

“Recognizing Palestine is not the end of a process, it is the beginning.” Simon Harris saysPrime Minister of Ireland. He said Ireland recognized the right of the Palestinian state to exist in peace and security within internationally agreed borders, adding that doing so sent a message “that there is a viable alternative to the nihilism of Hamas.”

Harris said he would travel to Brussels on Sunday to meet with more than 40 partners from the Middle East, Europe and elsewhere “to discuss how recognition can have a concrete, practical impact on ending this horrific conflict and implementing a two-state solution.”

So far, about 140 countries, mostly outside Western Europe, have recognized the Palestinian state, according to the Palestinian Authority website. It does not include the United States, Israel’s most important ally, nor Britain, France or Germany.

Wednesday’s announcement is in line with broader Palestinian goals Diplomatic recognitionAlthough the progress achieved so far has had little direct impact on the lives of people in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

In 1947, the United Nations voted to establish an independent Arab state alongside the Jewish state, but the plan was rejected by neighboring Arab governments and Palestinian Arabs, and the state of Israel was established during the war the following year. In the decades since, plans for a two-state solution have been repeatedly stymied.

This month the United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly approved passed a resolution Declares the Palestinians eligible for full membership in the United Nations. The General Assembly can only grant full membership with Security Council approval, and the United States will almost inevitably use its veto to the death. Such measuresjust like last month.

While a majority of the General Assembly supports Palestinian statehood, the resolution is the body’s first vote on full membership and reflects some countries’ deepening solidarity with the Palestinians as a result of the Gaza war.

Palestine became a member of the United Nations cultural organization UNESCO in 2011, but its application to become a full member of the United Nations failed. The following year, Palestine was Granted lower-level observer status In the United Nations, it is on the same level as the Holy See.

Observers can join Participates in United Nations General Assembly meetings, but does not have the right to vote. They can also join the International Court of Justice, which is currently hearing cases The legality of Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories.

ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan asked on Monday warrant Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Hamas leaders have been accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity. Israel does not recognize the court, but Palestine has been a member since 2015.

Palestine is also a party to several treaties and has become Became a member of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in 2018.

Henrik Presser Lieber Contributed reporting.

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