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Israel-Gaza live updates: Three European countries to recognize Palestinian state

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(NEW YORK) — As the Israel-Hamas war crosses the seven-month mark, renewed negotiations are underway to secure the release of hostages taken by the terrorist organization, as Israeli forces continue to prepare for an apparent invasion of the southern Gazan town of Rafah.

Here’s how the news is developing:

May 22, 6:09 AM
Three European countries to recognize Palestinian state

Ireland, Norway and Spain said Wednesday they would recognize a Palestinian state.

“Ireland today recognises Palestine as a nation among nations with all the rights and responsibilities that entails,” Simon Harris, the country’s Taoiseach, or prime minister, said in a statement.

The recognition by the Norwegian Government is an effort to “keep alive” the possibility of a “political solution” that might end the war in Gaza, Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre said in a statement.

“Two states, living side by side, in peace and security,” Støre said.

The announcement drew sharp criticism from Israel’s foreign minister, Israel Katz, who said he’d been instructed to immediately recall Israel’s ambassador’s to Ireland and Norway “for consultations.”

“Today’s decision sends a message to the Palestinians and the world: Terrorism pays,” Katz said. “After the Hamas terror organization carried out the largest massacre of Jews since the Holocaust, after committing heinous sexual crimes witnessed by the world, these countries chose to reward Hamas and Iran by recognizing a Palestinian state.”

Spain’s prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, said his country will recognize a Palestinian state on May 28.

“Time has come to move from words into action,” he said on social media. “Peace, justice and coherence are the basis of our historic decision.”

May 21, 6:19 PM
Kamal Adwan Hospital suffers damage after hit four times: WHO

Kamal Adwan Hospital in northern Gaza was reportedly hit four times Tuesday, according to the World Health Organization.

The attacks damaged the intensive care unit, reception, administration and the roof, the organization said. Efforts are underway to evacuate 20 health staff and 13 patients who remain inside, according to WHO.

“We appeal once again for [the] protection of all patients and health workers. We urge for a ceasefire and safe, sustained humanitarian access,” WHO said in a statement.

Over the past few weeks, intense hostilities have reportedly occurred in the vicinity of the hospital and resulted in an increased influx of injured patients to the already overstretched facility.

Kamal Adwan is the largest partially functional hospital in northern Gaza, and the only one providing hemodialysis services.

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