Ireland, Spain, and Norway recognized the independent Palestinian state in a decision approved by the countries' cabinets on May 28.

"This step is not only the restoration of historical justice but also a necessary condition for achieving peace," stated Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez.

He emphasized that the decision is not aimed against Israel: "The only path to achieving lasting peace lies through the creation of a Palestinian state that will coexist with Israel in peace and security," he said.

"We intended to recognize Palestine at the end of the peace process but decided to take this step along with Spain and Norway to keep the miracle of peace alive. I once again urge Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to heed the global public opinion and put an end to the catastrophe in the Gaza Strip," Irish Prime Minister Simon Harris said.

In a diplomatic ceremony held in Brussels, Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide handed over diplomatic papers to Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Mustafa. This act signified Norway's formal recognition of a Palestinian state.

Slovenia and Malta are expected to follow the example of Ireland, Norway, and Spain.

Sweden recognized the Palestinian state in 2014, and Iceland did so in 2011. Eastern European countries such as Poland, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia recognized Palestine back in 1988 when they were part of the communist bloc. This declarative gesture had no real impact on the situation.