The Italian parliament is set to vote on a non-binding bill calling for the recognition of a Palestinian state, following similar initiatives last year by France, Britain, Ireland, Portugal and Spain. The Swedish government formally recognized a Palestinian state in October.
Italian lawmakers may vote on the motion put forth by MPs from the Left Ecology Freedom and the Socialist Party as soon as Thursday. Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s Democratic Party is ready to back the initiative, according to the International Business Times.
The bill urges the government “to recognize the state of Palestine so that negotiations to reach a two-state solution are restarted.”
In December, the European Parliament voted overwhelmingly to recognize a Palestinian state “in principle.”
The motion was a watered-down version of an original resolution which had urged EU member states to recognize a Palestinian state unconditionally. Lawmakers approved the motion by 498 votes to 88 with 111 abstentions.
A bid by the Palestinian Authority to the UN Security Council asking for a resolution backing a Palestinian state on the pre-1967 lines and an Israeli withdrawal to those lines by 2017 was shot down in December.
The Palestinian Authority estimates that 135 countries have now recognized Palestine as a state, although that number is disputed and several recognitions by EU member states date back to the Soviet era.