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The countries of Norway, Ireland, and Spain recently announced their formal recognition of Palestine as a state, leading Israel to recall its envoys for consultations. Israel has also threatened to withdraw its ambassador from Spain and halt the transfer of tax funds to the Palestinian Authority. This move comes as more European nations are considering recognizing Palestine, with Slovenia, Malta, and Belgium among those discussing the issue. Currently, there are 12 European countries that recognize Palestine as a state. In 2024, several countries, including the Bahamas, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, and Barbados, have also recognized Palestine.

Over the years, there have been various milestones in the recognition of Palestine as a state. In 2011, despite not achieving full UN membership, Palestine was granted full membership in UNESCO, leading to defunding by the US. The following years saw an upgrade in Palestine’s status to a non-member observer state by the General Assembly and recognition by international bodies like the International Criminal Court. In 2014, Sweden became the first country in Western Europe to officially recognize Palestine. Other countries that have recognized Palestine in recent years include Mexico, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Colombia, and Saint Lucia.

In the early 2000s, countries like Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, and Ecuador recognized Palestine, following the Oslo Accords, which aimed to establish an independent Palestinian state by 1999. However, the second Intifada began in the new millennium, delaying progress towards Palestinian statehood. The last decade of the 20th century saw countries like South Africa, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Papua New Guinea recognizing Palestine. The first Oslo Accord in 1993 marked the official recognition of each side by the other, with both committing to ending the conflict and working towards Palestinian self-determination.

In 1988, amid the first Intifada, Yasser Arafat proclaimed Palestine as an independent state with Jerusalem as its capital, leading to Algeria becoming the first country to officially recognize Palestine. During this time, most European countries recognizing Palestine were part of the former Soviet bloc. Various nations, including Algeria, Iraq, Libya, Malaysia, Turkey, Egypt, and Russia, recognized Palestine in 1988. The continued recognition of Palestine over the years highlights the international community’s support for Palestinian statehood and self-determination. Despite ongoing challenges and conflicts in the region, the efforts towards recognizing Palestine as a state continue to gain momentum.

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