Netanyahu says recognition of Palestinian statehood is 'a reward for terrorism'

Israel's Prime Minister, the far-right Benjamin Netanyahu, has criticized the decision announced today by the governments of Spain, Ireland and Norway to recognize the Palestinian State on May 28. “The intention of several European countries to recognize a Palestinian state is a reward for terrorism,” he stated in a video distributed by his cabinet.

He has declared that this state will be a “terrorist state” that will “try to repeat the October 7 massacre again and again.” “We are not going to agree to it,” Netanyahu said, referring to the attack that the Palestinian group Hamas launched that day against towns in southern Israel, killing more than a thousand people and kidnapping about 250. gain statehood,” he added.

The prime minister has also warned that “rewarding terrorism will not bring peace,” nor will it prevent Israel from “defeating Hamas in Gaza,” where the Hebrew army has carried out a broad offensive since October. killing nearly 36,000 Palestinians.

Furthermore, Netanyahu has referred to the occupied West Bank, which Israel calls “Judea and Samaria,” an area that is part of the Palestinian State, with borders recognized by the United Nations. The president has stated that 80% of the region's population supports “the terrible October 7 massacre,” equating the West Bank with Gaza and the entire Palestinian population with Hamas.

The polls reflect Hamas's rising popularity in the West Bank, where the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) rules, which is the official representative of the Palestinian state, although it does not de facto control most of the territory that would be part of It. The ANP has its headquarters in Ramallah and controls only a few cities in the West Bank; Meanwhile, other parts of this region are controlled by Israeli authorities and are home to around half a million Jewish settlers, in settlements deemed illegal by the UN.

Just this Wednesday, the Israeli army announced that it will allow Israeli citizens to return to several areas of the northern West Bank, where they have been prohibited from settling since 2005, when the plan to remove settlements from this area and the Gaza Strip retreat was carried out. According to the EFE agency, the military order, approved by Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, reverses the military blockade of three of the four areas where Jewish settlements were located until 2005, which were demolished that year. The fourth zone was already licensed in 2023.

This order “will lead to the establishment of (new) settlements and will provide security to the residents of the area,” Gallant said in a statement in Hebrew, quoted by EFE. The defense minister's decision is possible thanks to the fact that the Knesset (parliament) last year repealed the law that banned Israeli citizens from returning to the areas expelled from the occupied West Bank in 2005. Currently, Netanyahu's governing coalition, which consists of several far-right parties that support illegal colonies, has a majority of deputies in the House of Representatives.

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