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Israel warns of ‘serious consequences’ for ties with countries recognising Palestinian state

Israel’s foreign ministry said Thursday that Israel’s ties with Ireland, Norway and Spain will face “serious consequences” after their governments decided to recognise a Palestinian state from next week.

“There will be additional serious consequences for relations with their countries following the decision they made,” the ministry statement quoted top official Jacob Blitstein as saying.

Blitstein was speaking during a meeting with the envoys of the three countries to “reprimand” them for their governments’ move announced on Wednesday.

During the meeting, Israeli officials showed the three envoys a video of the kidnapping of five women soldiers during the October 7 attack by Hamas.

The three-minute clip, also released to the media on Wednesday, showed the women sitting on the ground, some with blood on their faces, with their hands tied following their capture from the Nahal Oz base in southern Israel.

The footage was taken from a two-hour video filmed on a body camera by Hamas militants during the attack, campaign group Hostage and Missing Families Forum said in a statement accompanying the clip.

At Thursday’s meeting, Blitstein “reprimanded the ambassadors for the perverse decision of their governments to recognise a Palestinian state,” the ministry statement said.

He said the recognition move makes it “more difficult to promote a deal for the release of hostages” still held in Gaza by Palestinian militants.

The coordinated announcements by the three governments came days after the International Criminal Court prosecutor said he would seek arrest warrants for Israel’s prime minister and defence minister as well as Hamas leaders over alleged war crimes during the Gaza conflict.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, who has visited several countries to drum up support for recognition, said the move would reinforce efforts to revive a two-state solution to the Middle East conflict.

Israel has reacted with fury, immediately recalling its envoys to the three countries.

“The intention of several European countries to recognise a Palestinian state is a reward for terror,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday, adding that a sovereign State of Palestine would be a “terror state”.

23rd May 2024


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