Europe agrees to recognize Palestinian state

Tuesday, December 01, 2009 |  Israel Today Staff

Israel's Ha'aretz daily newspaper reported on Tuesday that a resolution to be discussed and probably approved at a meeting of European Union foreign ministers next week calls for the establishment of Jerusalem as the capital of "Palestine," and grants recognition to a Palestinian state declared unilaterally outside the framework of a peace deal with Israel.

The controversial wording is being pushed by Sweden, though many EU representatives are believed to support it.

Palestinians lauded the report, and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas' spokesman also lobbied the UN General Assembly on Monday to likewise recognize a unilateral declaration of independence by the Palestinian Authority.

The official was addressing the General Assembly on the anniversary of the 1947 vote on the UN Partition Plan, which recognized Jewish and Arab states west of the Jordan River. Israel accepted the vote, but the Arabs did not, and instead invaded the nascent Jewish state. Despite that fact, the UN marks the day as a day of mourning, and uses it to blast what it calls Israel's "illegal occupation."

Meanwhile, Israeli officials cried foul over the international community's willingness to accept dangerous unilateral Palestinian declarations just days after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed to a settlement freeze in order to get peace talks going again.

"After the important steps taken by the government of Israel to enable the resumption of negotiations with the Palestinians, the European Union must now exert pressure on the Palestinians to return to the negotiating table," read a statement released by Israel's Foreign Ministry.

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