Which countries have recognized the Palestinian state?

Protest in support of Palestine/ Photo: EPA-EFE/ANDRE PAIN

Almost three-quarters of the world's countries have recognized the state of Palestine, which was declared by the Palestinian leadership in exile more than 35 years ago, while today Spain, Ireland and Norway decided to follow suit.

The seven-month war between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip, sparked by a brutal terrorist attack on Israeli territory on October 7, has renewed calls for recognition of a Palestinian state.

According to the Palestinian Authority, 142 countries out of 193 UN member states have recognized Palestine.

Four Caribbean countries (Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and the Bahamas) are the latest countries to join the list, which does not include most countries in Western Europe and North America, Australia and Japan.

Spain, Ireland and Norway announced today that they will recognize the state of Palestine from May 28.

Last month, the US used its veto power in the UN Security Council to block a resolution that would have declared Palestine a full member of the international organization.

On November 15, 1988, a few months after the start of the first intifada, the leader of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Yasser Arafat, proclaimed the "establishment of the State of Palestine" with Jerusalem as its capital. Minutes later, Algeria was the first to officially recognize the new state.

A week later, forty countries, including China, India, Turkey and most Arab countries, took the same step. Almost all the countries of the African continent and the Soviet bloc follow.

During 2010 and 2011, Palestine was recognized by the majority of South American countries.

Under the presidency of Arafat's successor, Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian Authority, established by the Oslo Accords (1993), launched a diplomatic offensive in international institutions.

UNESCO paved the way by admitting Palestine as a full member in October 2011.

In a historic vote in November 2012, Palestine was granted observer status at the United Nations, which, in the absence of full voting member status, gave it access to UN agencies and international treaties.

In 2015, the Palestinians will join the International Criminal Court (ICC), which will allow investigations into Israeli military operations in Palestinian territory. The United States and Israel condemned the decision.

In 2014, Sweden became the first EU member to recognize the state of Palestine. The Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania and Cyprus, as part of the then Soviet bloc, did so long before they entered the European Union.

The Swedish decision, announced at a time when efforts to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict appear to be at a complete impasse, has led to years of tumultuous relations with Israel.

Spain, Ireland and Norway today decided to follow in the footsteps of Sweden, while other Western countries have long believed that the official recognition of the Palestinian state must be the result of the peace process with Israel.

Malta and Slovenia have announced the recognition of Palestine, and Australia has also announced such an intention.

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