Slovenia’s government endorses recognition of a Palestinian state, sends to parliament for approval

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Slovenia’s government on Thursday endorsed a motion to recognize a Palestinian state and asked the parliament to do the same.

Prime Minister Robert Golob said that his government sent the recognition proposal to parliament, which could convene as early as next week.

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“All the world should act in the direction of peace,” Golob said after the government session. “The way to achieve peace is a two-state solution.”

“The decision is not directed against anyone, not even Israel, but it is a message of peace,” he added as the Palestinian flag was displayed on the government headquarters in Ljubljana, the Slovenian capital.

Slovenia-Palestinian-Statehood

A Palestinian flag flies next to a Slovenian, center, and a European Union flag, right, at the government building in Ljubljana, Slovenia, Thursday, May 30, 2024. Slovenia’s government has endorsed a motion to recognize a Palestinian state and sent it to parliament for approval. Prime Minister Robert Golob’s ruling liberal coalition has a comfortable majority in the 90-member assembly and the vote should be formality. The decision by the Slovenian government on Thursday comes just two days after Spain, Norway and Ireland recognized a Palestinian state. It was a move that was slammed by Israel.  (AP Photo)

Israel’s Foreign Minister Israel Katz said he hoped the Slovenian parliament would reject the government decision.

“The Slovenian government’s decision to recommend that the Slovenian Parliament recognize a Palestinian state rewards Hamas for murder, rape, mutilation of bodies, beheading of babies, and strengthens the Iranian axis of evil while damaging the close friendship between the Slovenian and Israeli people,” he said.

Parliamentary approval is necessary for the move to take effect. Golob’s ruling liberal coalition has a comfortable majority in the 90-member assembly and the vote should be a formality.

The decision by Slovenia’s government comes just two days after Spain, Norway and Ireland recognized a Palestinian state, a move that was condemned by Israel.

With its move, Slovenia is set to become the 10th member of the 27-nation European Union to officially recognize a Palestinian state. Norway isn’t an EU member, but its foreign policy is usually aligned with the bloc.

Slovenia first began the recognition process in early May, but said it would wait until the situation in the ongoing Israeli-Hamas war in Gaza improved.

Golob said this week that he was expediting the process in reaction to Israel’s latest attacks on Rafah, which have caused more than 1 million Palestinians to flee.

More than 140 countries recognize a Palestinian state — more than two-thirds of the United Nations.

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The move to recognize a Palestinian state has caused relations between the EU and Israel to nosedive. Spain and Ireland are pushing for the EU to take measures against Israel for its continued attacks on Rafah in southern Gaza.

Israel launched the assault following the Oct. 7 Hamas-led attack in which militants stormed across the Gaza border into Israel, killing 1,200 people and taking about 250 hostage. Israel’s air and land attacks have since killed 36,000 Palestinians, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry, which doesn’t distinguish between combatants and civilians.



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