Hamas in a statement hailed the move as “an important step towards affirming our right to our land”, while Bassem Naim, a senior Hamas political bureau member, said the move came about because of the “brave resistance of the Palestinian people” and that it will mark “a turning point in the international position on the Palestinian issue”.

The Palestine Liberation Organisation, seen internationally as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, hailed the moves as “historical moments in which the free world triumphs for truth and justice”, Hussein al-Sheikh, secretary general of the PLO executive committee, wrote on social media platform X.

For decades, the formal recognition of a Palestinian state has been seen as the endgame of a peace process between Palestinians and their Israeli neighbours.

The United States and most Western European nations have said they are willing to one day recognise Palestinian statehood, but not before agreement is reached on thorny issues like final borders and the status of Jerusalem.

But after Hamas’s Oct 7 attacks and Israel’s retaliatory campaign in Gaza, diplomats are reconsidering once-contentious ideas.

In 2014, Sweden, which has a large Palestinian community, became the first EU member in western Europe to recognise Palestinian statehood.

It had earlier been recognised by six other European countries: Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Romania.

Hamas’s Oct 7 attack resulted in the deaths of more than 1,170 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli official figures.

Hamas also took 252 hostages, 124 of whom remain in Gaza including 37 the army says are dead.

Israel’s retaliatory offensive has killed at least 35,647 people in Gaza, also mostly civilians, according to the Hamas-run territory’s health ministry.


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