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Israel orders recall of ambassadors from Ireland and Norway

May 22, 2024 at 10:34 am

Minister for Foreign Affairs of Israel, H.E. Israel Katz speaks during the Security Council at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City on 11 March, 2024 [John Lamparski/Getty Images]

The Israeli foreign ministry said today that it had ordered an immediate recall of its ambassadors from Ireland and Norway in response to their respective governments deciding to recognise the State of Palestine, Reuters reports. The two countries were joined by Spain today in announcing official recognition of Palestine, however both Norway and Spain said the decision would come into effect on 28 May.

Foreign Minister Israel Katz said the decision to recognise a Palestinian state undermined Israel’s right to self-defence and efforts to return the 128 hostages being held by Hamas in Gaza.

“Israel will not be silent,” Katz said. “We are determined to achieve our goals: restoring security to our citizens and the removal of Hamas and the return of the hostages.” He claimed that there are “no more righteous goals than these.”

The Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority in Ramallah and its rival Hamas movement, meanwhile, both welcomed the recognition of Palestine as a state by Ireland, Spain and Norway.

The Palestinian Authority exercises limited self-rule in the West Bank territory. while Hamas has been the de facto government in Gaza ever since it won the last Palestinian legislative election in 2006.

Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul-Gheit praised the announcements from Norway, Spain and Ireland to recognise Palestine as a state. In a brief statement, Aboul-Gheit said that the decisions put the three countries “on the right side of history in this [Palestinian-Israeli] conflict.” He called on other countries worldwide to follow the three nations in “their courageous initial step.”

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