Opinion split after three European countries recognise Palestinian state

Reaction has been sharply divided since three European countries said they would officially recognise the state of Palestine, more than seven months into the devastating Gaza war. While Israel responded with fury, Palestinian authorities have hailed the move as historic – and urged France to follow suit.

Ireland, Spain and non EU-member Norway each said on Wednesday they would formally recognise a Palestinian state from May 28, drawing praise from many Arab and Muslim countries.

"These countries have been contemplating the possibility of recognizing the state of Palestine for a long time," said Jean-Paul Chagnollaud, head of the Institute for Middle East and Mediterranean Studies and Research (iReMMO).

"Norway played a significant role during the Oslo Accords, and Spain also played an important role in these same accords by organising the Madrid Conference beforehand," he told RFI.

But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the move amounted to a "reward for terror", after Palestinian militant group Hamas launched the 7 October attack that sparked the Gaza war.

Israel said it was recalling its envoys to Dublin, Oslo and Madrid for "urgent consultations" and also summoned the three European ambassadors for a rebuke.

'Never a better time'

Hala Abou Hassira, the Palestinian Authority's representative in France, said: "There was never a better time."

Read more on RFI English

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