Ireland, Norway and Spain announced recognition of a Palestinian state on Wednesday, citing the Israeli-Hamas war in Gaza and the need for a two-state solution for lasting peace in the region.

"The ongoing war in Gaza has made it abundantly clear that the achievement of peace and stability must be based on a solution to the Palestinian question," said Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre. "The war is the lowest point in the long Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The situation in the Middle East has not been this serious for many years."

Norway said there was broad international consensus on the need for a two-state solution, including an overwhelming vote at the UN General Assembly this month to recognise the Palestinians as qualified to join the world body.

Attack on Danish Prime Minister Frederiksen Attack on Danish Prime Minister Frederiksen

Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said the decision was based on "peace, justice and coherence".

"The time has come to move from words to deeds," Sánchez said.

The three countries said their recognition of a Palestinian state would take effect on 28 May.

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz immediately announced the recall of Israel's ambassadors from Ireland and Norway in response to Wednesday's announcements.

Katz said the recognition of a Palestinian state was a reward to Hamas and Iran, and an "injustice to the memory" of those killed in the 7 October Hamas attack on Israel.

"Israel will not remain silent in the face of those who undermine its sovereignty and threaten its security," Katz said.

Irish Prime Minister Simon Harris said Ireland unequivocally recognises Israel and its right to exist "in security and peace with its neighbours". Harris called for the release of all hostages currently being held by Hamas in Gaza.

Harris pointed to Ireland's own history and the importance of gaining recognition from other nations.

Norway's vision for a Palestinian state is not that of the Hamas militants who have ruled Gaza since 2007, but that of the Palestinian Authority, which runs parts of the West Bank.

Norway's Støre said the situation in the Middle East "has not been this serious for many years" and that recognising a Palestinian state was a way of "supporting the moderate forces that have been losing ground in this protracted and brutal conflict".

"In the midst of a war that has killed and injured tens of thousands, we must keep alive the only alternative that offers a political solution for Israelis and Palestinians alike: Two states living side by side in peace and security," said Støre.

Editor: David Goodman