Palestinian PM Visits Madrid After Spain, Norway and Ireland Recognize Palestinian State 

Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez poses with Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Mustafa, Qatar's Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah, Jordan's Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, Türkiye’s Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan and Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Hissein Brahim Taha pose for a photo at Moncloa Palace in Madrid, Spain, May 29, 2024. (Reuters)
Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez poses with Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Mustafa, Qatar's Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah, Jordan's Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, Türkiye’s Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan and Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Hissein Brahim Taha pose for a photo at Moncloa Palace in Madrid, Spain, May 29, 2024. (Reuters)
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Palestinian PM Visits Madrid After Spain, Norway and Ireland Recognize Palestinian State 

Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez poses with Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Mustafa, Qatar's Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah, Jordan's Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, Türkiye’s Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan and Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Hissein Brahim Taha pose for a photo at Moncloa Palace in Madrid, Spain, May 29, 2024. (Reuters)
Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez poses with Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Mustafa, Qatar's Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah, Jordan's Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, Türkiye’s Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan and Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Hissein Brahim Taha pose for a photo at Moncloa Palace in Madrid, Spain, May 29, 2024. (Reuters)

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez met with Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Mustafa and leading officials from several Middle Eastern countries in Madrid on Wednesday after Spain, Ireland and Norway recognized a Palestinian state.

The diplomatic move by the three western European nations on Tuesday was slammed by Israel and will have little immediate impact on its grinding war in Gaza, but it was a victory for the Palestinians and could encourage other Western powers to follow suit.

Mustafa was joined by Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah, Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, and the foreign ministers for Türkiye and Jordan, members of the group called the Foreign Ministerial Committee of Arabic and Islamic countries for Gaza. They also met with Spanish Foreign Minister José Manuel Albares.

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

With Spain and Ireland, there are now nine members of the 27-nation European Union that officially recognize a Palestinian state. Norway is not an EU member but its foreign policy is usually aligned with the bloc.

Slovenia, an EU member, will decide on the recognition of a Palestinian state on Thursday and forward its decision to parliament for final approval.

The move to recognize a Palestinian state has caused relations between the EU and Israel to nosedive. Madrid and Dublin are pushing for the EU to take measures against Israel for its continued attacks on southern Gaza’s city of Rafah.

The decision by Spain, Ireland and Norway comes more than seven months into an assault waged by Israel following the Oct. 7 Hamas-led attack in which fighters 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.



8 Israeli Soldiers Killed in Southern Gaza

Israeli soldiers operate in the Gaza Strip next to military vehicles amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in this handout image released December 7, 2023. Israel Army /Handout via REUTERS
Israeli soldiers operate in the Gaza Strip next to military vehicles amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in this handout image released December 7, 2023. Israel Army /Handout via REUTERS
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8 Israeli Soldiers Killed in Southern Gaza

Israeli soldiers operate in the Gaza Strip next to military vehicles amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in this handout image released December 7, 2023. Israel Army /Handout via REUTERS
Israeli soldiers operate in the Gaza Strip next to military vehicles amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in this handout image released December 7, 2023. Israel Army /Handout via REUTERS

Israel's military said Saturday that eight soldiers were killed in southern Gaza in the deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months.
Only one of the dead troops was identified by the army. No further information was immediately available, according to The AP.
The deaths will likely fuel calls for a cease-fire and heighten Israeli public anger over ultra-Orthodox exemptions from the military.
Israel’s bombardment and ground offensives in Gaza have killed more than 37,000 Palestinians, according to Palestinian health officials, who don't give the breakdown of civilians and fighters. The war has also driven about 80% of the population of 2.3 million from their homes, and Israeli restrictions and ongoing fighting have hindered efforts to bring in humanitarian aid, fueling widespread hunger.
Israel launched its campaign after Hamas and other militants stormed into Israel on Oct. 7.
Over 100 hostages were released during a weeklong cease-fire last year in exchange for Palestinians imprisoned by Israel. Hamas is believed to be holding around 80 hostages and the remains of another 40.