What are the consequences of recognizing a Palestinian state: What are its borders, what is its capital...?

Most countries - about 139 in total - formally recognize the Palestinian state

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Many countries say they will recognize a Palestinian state only as part of a long-term political solution, Photo: Reuters
Many countries say they will recognize a Palestinian state only as part of a long-term political solution, Photo: Reuters
Disclaimer: The translations are mostly done through AI translator and might not be 100% accurate.

And as fighting and suffering continue in Gaza, and violence becomes more frequent in the West Bank, the possibility of the Palestinian people gaining a state of their own may seem more distant than ever.

The decision by several European countries to formally recognize the existence of a Palestinian state will not ignore the reality that such ambitions continue to face formidable obstacles.

But recognition of Ireland, Spain and Norway will put pressure on other countries in Europe - among them the UK, France and Germany - to follow suit in supporting Palestinian self-determination.

"This is of extreme importance," said one Arab diplomat.

"It reflects European displeasure with the Israeli government's refusal to listen."

"And the EU is being pressured to follow in their footsteps."

But Israeli ministers insist it will embolden Hamas and reward terrorism, further reducing the chances of a negotiated settlement.

Most countries - about 139 in total - formally recognize the Palestinian state.

On May 143, 193 of the XNUMX member states of the United Nations General Assembly voted in favor of the Palestinian request for full UN membership, which is open only to full states.

Palestine currently has a kind of enhanced observer status in the UN, which gives it a seat but not the right to vote in the assembly.

It is recognized only by various international organizations, among which are the Arab League and the Organization for Islamic Cooperation.

A smaller number of European countries already recognize a Palestinian state.

They consist of Hungary, Poland, Romania, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Bulgaria, which adopted this position in 1988; and others, including Sweden, Cyprus and Malta.

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But many European countries - as well as the United States - say they will recognize a Palestinian state only as part of a long-term political solution to the Middle East conflict.

This is often referred to as the "two-state solution," where both Israelis and Palestinians would agree to have their own states with their own borders.

European countries and the US disagree on when they should recognize a Palestinian state.

Ireland, Spain and Norway claim they are doing so now to start a political process.

They claim that there will be a sustainable solution to the current crisis only if both sides can strive for some kind of political horizon.

These countries are also responding to domestic political pressure to show greater support for the Palestinians.

In the past, the position of many Western countries was that Palestinian statehood should be the prize for a final peace agreement.

But Lord Cameron, Britain's foreign secretary, and some other European countries have reversed this position in recent months, saying recognition of Palestinian statehood could come sooner to help kickstart a political deal.

In February, French President Macron said: "The recognition of a Palestinian state is not a taboo subject for France."

At the beginning of the month, France supported Palestinian membership in the UN in a general assembly vote.

The US has discussed the issue privately with European allies, but is more cautious and wants a clearer picture of what the policy would mean in practice.

So the key behind-the-scenes debate is when these resisting countries should recognize a Palestinian state: when formal Israeli-Palestinian peace talks begin, when Israel and Saudi Arabia normalize diplomatic relations, when Israel fails to take certain steps, or when The Palestinians will take certain steps.

In other words, they want the recognition of a Palestinian state to be a big moment designed to achieve a diplomatic outcome.

"It's a big card that Western countries have to play," said one Western official.

"We don't want to just waste it."

The problem is that the recognition of a Palestinian state remains largely a symbolic gesture if it does not resolve important related issues.

What are her limits?

What is its capital?

What must both parties do first for this to happen?

These are all difficult questions that have not been satisfactorily agreed upon - or even answered - for decades.

As of today, several more countries in Europe now believe that there should be a Palestinian state.

Supporters will welcome the move, opponents will condemn it.

The harsh reality for Palestinians on the ground is unlikely to change.

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