UN experts urge all countries to recognize Palestinian statehood

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A group of United Nations experts called on Monday for all countries to recognize a Palestinian state to ensure peace in the Middle East.

The call came less than a week after Spain, Ireland and Norway officially recognized a Palestinian state, prompting anger from Israel, which has found itself increasingly isolated after nearly eight months of war in Gaza.

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The experts, including the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in the Palestinian territories, said recognition of a Palestinian state was an important acknowledgement of the rights of the Palestinian people and their struggle towards freedom and independence.

“This is a pre-condition for lasting peace in Palestine and the entire Middle East – beginning with the immediate declaration of a ceasefire in Gaza and no further military incursions into Rafah,” they said.

“A two-state solution remains the only internationally agreed path to peace and security for both Palestine and Israel and a way out of generational cycles of violence and resentment.”

Israel’s Foreign Ministry did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

With their recognition of a Palestinian state, Spain, Ireland and Norway said they sought to accelerate efforts to secure a ceasefire in Israel’s war with Hamas in Gaza.

The three countries say they hope their decision will spur other European Union states to follow suit. Denmark’s parliament later rejected a proposal to recognize a Palestinian state.

Israel has repeatedly condemned moves to recognize a Palestinian state, saying they bolster Hamas, the militant group that led the deadly Oct. 7 attack on Israel which sparked the Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip.

The conflict has killed more than 36,000 Palestinians, according to Gaza’s health ministry. Israel says the Oct. 7 attack, the worst in its 75-year history, killed 1,200 people, with more than 250 hostages taken.

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