Italian parliament
Italian parliamentThinkstock

Italian deputies on Friday approved two resolutions calling on the government to support the goal of a Palestinian state but stopped short of supporting recognition now, AFP reported.

A motion in support of recognizing “Palestine” and another opposing any steps in that direction were voted down, according to the report.

Israel welcomed the parliament's decision not to follow Britain, France and Spain, whose legislatures have all passed resolutions calling on their governments to recognize a Palestinian state.

"We positively welcome the Italian parliament choosing not to recognize a Palestinian state and opting to support direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian on the basis of the principal of two states, as the right way to pursue peace," read a statement from Israel's embassy in Rome.

The vote in Italy was originally supposed to have taken place last week but was postponed, reportedly under pressure from Israel.

A host of European countries recently voted in favor of recognizing a Palestinian state: British lawmakers voted overwhelmingly on October 13 in favor of a non-binding motion to "recognize the state of Palestine". Sweden announced on October 30 it officially recognized the state of "Palestine". Spanish lawmakers have also adopted calling on the government to recognize a Palestinian state.

A similar vote is planned in Belgium, where legislators are working on a resolution to recognize a Palestinian state, though the government said last week any timing to proceed will depend on European Union action.

In December, Portugal's parliament adopted a resolution calling on the government to recognize a Palestinian state, though Portugal's Foreign Minister Rui Machete said after the vote the government "will choose the moment best suited" to recognize the Palestinian state.

The Palestinian Authority estimates that 135 countries have now recognized “Palestine” as a state, although that number is disputed.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)