Israel Says UK Palestine Vote Undermines Peace Prospects

Israel Says UK Palestine Vote Undermines Peace Prospects

Israel warned Tuesday that a vote by British parliament in favour of recognising a Palestinian state risked undermining the prospects for peace.

Late Monday British MPs voted 274 to 12 for a non-binding motion to “recognise the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel as a contribution to securing a negotiated two-state solution”.

The resolution was welcomed by the Palestinians.

Britain’s ambassador to Israel, Matthew Gould, said that although the vote was not binding on the British government it was significant.

The debate in the House of Commons came after the Swedish government announced it would recognise a Palestinian state — it would be the first EU member in Western Europe to do so — drawing anger from Israel.

It follows the collapse of peace talks between Israel and Palestine, and this year’s conflict in Gaza in which more than 2,000 Palestinians and dozens of Israelis were killed.

The Palestinian Authority estimates that 134 countries have recognised Palestine as a state, although the number is disputed and several recognitions by what are now European Union member states date from the Soviet era.

Britain abstained in 2012 from a vote in the United Nations on giving the Palestinians the rank of observer state, which was granted over the objections of the United States and Israel.


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