European Parliament backs recognition of Palestinian state ‘in principle’

The European Parliament overwhelmingly backed the recognition of a Palestinian state “in principle” on Wednesday, following a series of votes on the issue in EU nations that have enraged Israel.

Lawmakers approved the motion by 498 votes to 88 with 111 abstentions, although it was a watered down version of an original motion which had urged EU member states to recognise a Palestinian state unconditionally.

The motion said the parliament “supports in principle recognition of Palestinian statehood and the two state solution, and believes these should go hand in hand with the development of peace talks, which should be advanced”.

The vote came hours after a European court ordered the EU to drop the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas from its terrorism blacklist on technical grounds.