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Israel recommended to downgrade relations with countries recognising State of Palestine

June 18, 2024 at 4:23 pm

Thousands of individuals participate in a significant pro-Palestinian protest, with attendees traveling from various parts of Ireland to join the event in Dublin, Ireland on May 18, 2024. capital [Mostafa Darwish – Anadolu Agency]

The head of Israel’s National Security Council, Tzachi Hanegbi, recommended to the cabinet on Sunday to examine the possibility of downgrading diplomatic relations with all countries that have recognised a Palestinian state, including Spain, Ireland, Norway and Slovenia, Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper reported yesterday.

According to the report, Hanegbi added the council’s recommendation that Israeli ambassadors be recalled from these countries so that embassies simply retain the status of consulates. The council has also recommended closing or restricting the diplomatic missions of those countries in Israel.

The report pointed out that Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz was surprised by the recommendations and objected to “compromising his powers and those of the foreign ministry,” and asked the cabinet to refrain from “imposing decisions on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that force him to follow specific policies toward these countries.” Katz apparently stressed that he is the one who will decide whether to close an embassy or consulate.

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Katz’s “dissatisfaction” with the council’s recommendations was noted, as was his objection to Hanegbi. The minister expressed his belief that it is unreasonable for the National Security Council to “decide what to do without giving the Foreign Ministry room to manoeuvre,” and claimed that no coordination had taken place with him or with officials in his ministry before making these recommendations.

According to the report, the ministers who participated in the cabinet meeting accepted Katz’s position and considered that “the National Security Council cannot impose a policy on the ministers without coordination with them.”

Finally, the cabinet decided to discuss all measures again, while the ministers present considered the recommendations of Hanegbi and the council as “exaggerated” and beyond what was required.

Spain, Norway and Ireland announced their recognition of the State of Palestine on 28 May. This was followed on 5 June by Slovenia announcing officially its recognition of the State of Palestine, raising the number of countries recognising it to 148 out of 193 member states of the UN General Assembly.

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