Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned France against an imminent vote by French lawmakers that will call on the Paris government to recognize Palestine as a sovereign state.
“Recognition of a Palestinian state by France would be a grave mistake,” Netanyahu said in al-Quds (Jerusalem) on Sunday.
The French parliament is expected to vote on December 2 on a proposal to urge the government to recognize Palestine as a state.
Earlier on November 18, Spanish lawmakers overwhelmingly approved a non-binding resolution on recognizing a Palestinian state. The motion gleaned 319 votes in its favor, two against, with one abstention. It urged Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy “to promote in coordination with the European Union the recognition of the Palestinian state as sovereign, contiguous, democratic and independent.”
The Israeli Foreign Ministry in a statement censured the Spanish parliament over the symbolic vote.
Britain and Ireland have already passed similar non-binding motions. On October 30, Sweden went a step further and officially recognized the state of Palestine, drawing stringent criticism from Israel and the United States.
On November 29, 2012, the 193-member United Nations General Assembly voted to upgrade Palestine’s status to non-member observer “state.”
The observer state status grants Palestinians access to UN agencies and the International Criminal Court (ICC), where they can file formal complaints against the Israeli regime.
Palestinians are seeking to create an independent state on the territories of the West Bank, East al-Quds (Jerusalem), and the Gaza Strip and are demanding that Israel withdraw from the occupied Palestinian territories.
Israel, however, has refused to return to the 1967 borders and is unwilling to discuss the issue of al-Quds.