The French parliament has passed a symbolic vote to recognize a Palestinian state. MPs in Britain and Spain have already passed similar motions.
The proposal was supported by more than two-thirds of French lawmakers and was approved with 339 votes in favor and 151 against.
The vote is non-binding, but sends a signal that Israelis and Palestinians must return to the negotiating table, following the collapse of US-mediated statehood talks in April, RT reports
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“We don’t want a symbolic recognition that will only lead to a virtual state. We want a Palestinian state that is real so we want to give a chance to negotiations,” Europe Minister Harlem Desir told lawmakers after the votes were tallied.
Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has supported the vote, setting a two-year deadline for the creation of an independent Palestine. He said that if no resolution had been found by then, France would officially recognize Palestine anyway.
However, Israel has furiously warned that the French parliament’s vote in favour of recognising Palestine as a state will ‘harm the peace process’ reports the Mail Online
In a statement today the Israeli embassy in Paris said: ‘Israel believes that the vote in the National Assembly… will reduce the possibility of achieving a deal between Israel and the Palestinians.’
Benjamin Netanyahu the Israeli Prime Minister has called the French vote a ‘grave mistake’.