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Slovenia govt. recognises Palestinian state, but needs parliamentary approval

May 30, 2024 at 4:09 pm

Slovenian Prime Minister, Robert Golob [Wikipedia]

The Slovenian government on Thursday approved a decision to recognise an independent Palestinian state, Prime Minister Robert Golob said, following in the recent footsteps of Spain, Ireland and Norway, Reuters has reported. Golob made his announcement at a news conference in Ljubljana.

The parliament of the European Union member country must also approve the government’s decision in the coming days. The move is part of a wider effort by countries to coordinate pressure on Israel to end its military offensive against the Palestinians in Gaza.

Golob also called for the immediate cessation of hostilities between Israel and Hamas resistance fighters in Gaza and the release of all hostages. He did not clarify whether this also means the Palestinians held by Israel with neither charge nor trial, hostages in all but name.

“This is the message of peace,” he added. A Palestinian flag was raised alongside the flags of Slovenia and the EU in front of the government building in downtown Ljubljana.

Spain, Ireland and Norway recognised a Palestinian state officially on 28 May, prompting an angry reaction from Israel.

Of the 27 members of the European Union, Sweden, Cyprus, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Romania and Bulgaria have already recognised a Palestinian state. Malta has said it could follow soon. Britain and Australia have said that they are also considering recognition, but France has said that now is not the time. The UK parliament voted for such recognition in 2014, but successive governments have ignored the decision.

Germany joined Israel’s staunchest ally, the United States, in rejecting a unilateral approach, insisting that a two-state solution can only be achieved through dialogue. Denmark’s parliament on Tuesday voted down a bill to recognise a Palestinian state.

Norway, which chairs the international donor group to the Palestinians, had until recently followed the US position but has lost confidence that this strategy will work. The so-called “peace process” has been moribund for years. Its critics point to the legal anomaly of the victims of a crime — the colonisation of their land — are expected by the international community to “negotiate” with the settler-colonial state.

More than 36,000 Palestinians have been killed by Israel’s air and land war in Gaza since October, with 53 of those killed in the past 24 hours, said the Palestinian health ministry. At least 80,000 have been wounded, with an estimated 12,000 buried under the rubble of their homes destroyed by Israeli tank, artillery and air strikes.

Israel launched its latest of many offensives in Gaza after a cross-border incursion by Hamas fighters on 7 October last year, in which just under 1,200 people were killed, many of them by Israeli tanks and helicopter gunships, Israeli media reported. Around 250 Israelis were taken hostage by Hamas.

The apartheid state has gone ahead with an onslaught against the Palestinians in the city of Rafah, despite being ordered by the International Court of Justice not to do so.

Gaza: Israeli air strike on Rafah kills 12 more Palestinians, say medics