LONDON — British lawmakers will on Monday take part in a non-binding vote on recognizing the Palestinian state that is being closely watched in the region for signs of shifting attitudes.
The vote will be on a motion that is being put forward by Grahame Morris, an MP from the Labour opposition party.
“If the vote is a success it would put a tremendous amount of pressure on the current government and the next government, which is likely to be a Labour government, to recognize Palestine as a state,” Morris said in an email.
“The UK recognizing Palestine could give decisive momentum to more EU states following suit,” he said.
“Recognition now would be a clear and legitimate message that Britain and others recognize Palestinian rights and that the illegal settlement enterprise has no validity”.
The move comes after newly-elected Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Loefven earlier this month announced his intention to recognize a Palestinian state, provoking anger in Israel, which summoned the Swedish ambassador. Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman also chided Loefven and his government in an op-ed published in a major Swedish newspaper.
Morris’ team said he would have the support of his party as well as some lawmakers from the ruling Conservatives.
An AFP count shows 112 countries have recognized the state of Palestine.
Britain abstained in 2012 from a vote in the United Nations on giving the Palestinians the rank of observer state, which was granted despite opposition from the United States, Israel and other countries.
The Times of Israel covers one of the most complicated, and contentious, parts of the world. Determined to keep readers fully informed and enable them to form and flesh out their own opinions, The Times of Israel has gradually established itself as the leading source of independent and fair-minded journalism on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.
We've achieved this by investing ever-greater resources in our journalism while keeping all of the content on our site free.
Unlike many other news sites, we have not put up a paywall. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.