PA and Hamas Say UK 'Palestine' Vote Not Enough

PA demands UK turn non-binding vote on Palestinian state into official policy, Hamas says motion only 'symbolic.'

Ari Yashar ,

Riyad al-Malki
Riyad al-Malki
Flash 90

The British parliament on Monday recognized the Hamas and Palestinian Authority (PA) unity government as a "state" in a non-binding vote, but apparently the unilateral move was not enough to satisfy either Hamas or the PA.

PA foreign minister Riyad al-Malki on Tuesday urged London to "immediately recognize the state of Palestine," calling for the non-binding vote to be transformed into official UK policy, reports AFP.

Many have warned the UK may be posed to do just that, as the Labor party that proposed the vote is thought to have a chance of taking power in elections next year, after which they may pass an official change of policy.

For its part, the terrorist group Hamas welcomed the move but said it was only "symbolic," calling for more active moves against Israel.

"This symbolic vote is an important sign that the international community is changing its attitude in regard to the occupation's crimes, but it is still a symbolic move," Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri told AFP.

The UK indeed showed it was ready to make more than just "symbolic" moves against Israel during Operation Protective Edge, when it threatened to cut 12 arms exports licenses to Israel if it didn't stop its defensive counter-terror operation.

Senior Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) official Hanan Ashrawi also released a statement in response to the vote, saying "it will enhance the European voices calling for the recognition of the State of Palestine and will create the right environment for the international community to grant the Palestinian people legal parity and rights."

Regarding that environment in Europe, Israeli experts have warned the UK vote may be a sign of increasing diplomatic warfare against Israel in Europe.

The British vote followed a similar move in Sweden, which made a storm by pledging its commitment to recognize a Palestinian state two weeks ago on the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur.



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