British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond (L) with PM Netanyahu at the Knesset in Jerusalem on July 24, 2014. (Photo: Flash90) British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond (L) with PM Netanyahu at the Knesset in Jerusalem on July 24, 2014. (Photo: Flash90)
British Parliament

Israel criticized the overwhelming support of the British Parliament for recognizing a Palestinian State outside of bilateral negotiations.

(INN) Israel warned that the vote by the British parliament, in favor of recognizing a Palestinian state, risked undermining the prospects for peace.

“Premature international recognition sends a troubling message to the Palestinian leadership that they can evade the tough choices that both sides have to make, and actually undermines the chances to reach a real peace,” said a statement from the Israeli foreign ministry.

Late Monday British MPs voted 274 to 12 for a non-binding motion to “recognize the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel as a contribution to securing a negotiated two-state solution.” The remainder of the parliament’s 650 MPs abstained.

The resolution was welcomed by the Palestinians.

AFP reported that Britain’s ambassador to Israel, Matthew Gould, said that although the vote was not binding on the British government, it was significant.

“I think that this vote is a sign of shifting public opinion in the UK and indeed beyond,” he said in an interview Tuesday morning with Israeli public radio.

The debate in the House of Commons came after the Swedish government announced it would recognize a Palestinian state – it would be the first EU member in Western Europe to do so – drawing anger from Israel.

“The conflict in the summer over Gaza had a big impact on British public opinion and has affected Israel’s standing,” Gould said.

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Source: Israel National News

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