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Spain, Norway and Ireland recognize Palestinian statehood. How might the rest of Europe respond?

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Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez speaks in the Spanish Parliament in Madrid, May 22, 2024. European Union countries Spain and Ireland as well as Norway announced Wednesday May 22, 2024 their recognition of a Palestinian state. Malta and Slovenia, which also belong to the 27-nation European Union, may follow suit amid international outrage over the civilian death toll and humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip following Israel's offensive. (Eduardo Parra/Europa Press via AP)

Spain, Norway and Ireland said Wednesday that they would recognize an independent Palestinian state, a joint move that experts say puts pressure on Israel and other Western countries at a critical moment in the Israel-Hamas war — but one whose import is largely unclear. “I do think this is more than pure symbolism,” says Mai’a Cross, dean’s professor of political science, international affairs and diplomacy, and director of the Center for International Affairs and World Cultures at Northeastern University.

While more than 140 countries recognize Palestinian statehood worldwide, many Western countries, including the U.S., do not. Since the 1990s, Cross says the European Union has consistently supported both Israel’s right to exist and a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict. “That’s been a very consistent, clear, codified, in-writing stance for the European Union, including all of its member states,” she says.

Read more at Northeastern Global News.

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