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“I’m not sure this helps us much”: European countries are recognizing an official Palestinian state

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image of rabbi at pro-palestine march holding a sign that says freedom for gaza and all of palestine

USA Today, May 2024

It has a flag. A national anthem. Diplomats. Even its own international dialing code. In fact, three-quarters of the world’s 195 countries−143 U.N. member states plus the Vatican and Western Sahara−say it is a state. A decision by Ireland, Norway and Spain to recognize an independent Palestinian state, which officially took effect Tuesday, comes nearly eight months into Israel’s war with Hamas in the Gaza Strip, and decades into one of the world’s most high-profile and intractable conflicts, between Israelis and Palestinians. Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said Tuesday that “recognition of the State of Palestine is not only a matter of historic justice,” it is also “an essential requirement if we are all to achieve peace.”

But what does this formal statehood label mean? And will these recognitions, which the U.S. and larger European nations have not joined, bring full Palestinian statehood closer, and improve the lives of Palestinians?

Read more at USA Today.

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