The European Parliament has voted to recognise Palestine today with 498 votes in favour and 88 against. 111 abstained. The vote comes on the same day that a top EU court has decided to take Hamas off an EU list of terrorist organisations.
The vote today follows Sweden’s decision in October to recognise Palestine and non-binding votes since then by parliaments in Britain, France and Ireland.
The vote isn’t legally binding and is essentially a symbolic vote on principle but Keith, a member of the European Parliaments delegation to Palestine, has still welcomed the result of the vote:
“For 47 years Palestinians have been locked into an occupation which has denied them the right to self-determination – a situation all too reminiscent of South African apartheid.
This symoblic vote in favour of recognising Palestine at an EU level represents a vital step on the long road towards full Palestinian statehood and a viable two-state solution necessary for the eventual peace of the region.”
Read Keith’s piece for EurActiv ahead of the vote urging MEPs to vote in favour.