In the midst of the deadly war in the Gaza Strip between Hamas and Israel, several European countries announced on Wednesday, May 22, an initiative aimed at recognizing a State of Palestine; a project already criticized by the Israeli authorities.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry, Israel Katz, announced on Wednesday the recall “for consultations” of its ambassadors to Ireland and Norway, after Norway’s decision to recognize a State of Palestine and the announcement – which was at this expected moment – ​​from Ireland. “Today I am sending a clear message to Ireland and Norway: Israel will not remain silent on this issue,” he said, quoted in a statement from his services.

“The government has decided to recognize the State of Palestine,” Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store said Wednesday at a press conference in Oslo, specifying that the decision would be effective from May 28. Mr. Store also launched “a strong call” to other countries to do the same.

Ireland has in turn announced the recognition of a Palestinian state, its Prime Minister, Simon Harris, declared on Wednesday in a joint announcement with Oslo and Madrid. “Today, Ireland, Norway and Spain announce the recognition of the State of Palestine,” Harris said, hailing a “historic and important day for Ireland and for Palestine.”

“A turning point in the international position,” according to Hamas

Hamas welcomed these decisions on Wednesday. “We consider this an important step towards asserting our right to land and establishing a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital,” the Palestinian Islamist movement said in a statement, calling on “countries to throughout the world to recognize the legitimate national rights [of the Palestinian people].”

“These successive recognitions are the direct result of the courageous resistance and historic perseverance of the Palestinian people, we believe that this is a turning point in the international position on the Palestinian question,” he told Agence France -Press Bassem Naïm, member of the Hamas political bureau.

A “twisted” approach, according to Israel Katz

Ireland and Norway want to send “a message to the Palestinians and the whole world: terrorism pays,” responded the head of Israeli diplomacy. “After the terrorist organization Hamas carried out the largest massacre of Jews since the Holocaust, after committing the most horrific sexual crimes the world has known, these countries chose to reward Hamas and Iran and recognize a Palestinian state,” he said.

He called their approach “twisted,” considering it an “injustice to the memory of the victims of October 7” and “undermining Israel’s right to self-defense.”

Last week, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez had already announced that he would announce the date of Madrid’s recognition of a Palestinian state. He was scheduled to speak to MPs early Wednesday. In March, Mr. Sanchez also published a joint statement with the heads of government of Ireland, Slovenia and Malta in which these countries expressed their desire to recognize such a state. In April, during a visit by Mr. Sanchez to Norway and Ireland, Madrid, Oslo and Dublin said they were ready to recognize a Palestinian state “in close coordination,” in the words of Mr. Store.

“Recognition can no longer wait for a peace solution”

According to the Palestinian Authority’s count, 142 of the 193 member states of the United Nations (UN) have expressed their recognition of a Palestinian state. On Tuesday, in a video message to Dublin published on the social network . This measure will “only fuel extremism and instability”, according to Israeli diplomacy.

For Israel, plans to do so constitute a “reward for terrorism” that would make a negotiated solution to the war in the Gaza Strip less likely. Mr. Store once again condemned Hamas and assured that the recognition of a Palestinian state constituted a sign of “support for moderate forces who are on the decline in a horrible and prolonged conflict”. “Recognition can no longer wait for a peace solution,” he said.