The recent conflict between Hamas and Israel has brought the Gaza Strip, and the partially recognized State of Palestine, prominently into the focus of the global news cycle.
55 Countries Do Not Recognize Palestine
On November 15, 1988, the State of Palestine was officially proclaimed by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) coalition. The state claimed sovereignty of the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem.
As of November 2023, 138 of the 193 UN members (72%) recognize the State of Palestine.
Here are the 55 countries that don’t recognize Palestine:
|🇦🇺 Australia||No, informal relations|
|🇦🇹 Austria||No, informal relations|
|🇧🇪 Belgium||No, informal relations|
|🇨🇲 Cameroon||No, informal relations|
|🇨🇦 Canada||No, informal relations|
|🇭🇷 Croatia||No, informal relations|
|🇩🇰 Denmark||No, informal relations|
|🇪🇷 Eritrea||No, informal relations|
|🇪🇪 Estonia||No, informal relations|
|🇫🇲 Federated States of Micronesia||No|
|🇫🇮 Finland||No, informal relations|
|🇫🇷 France||No, informal relations|
|🇩🇪 Germany||No, informal relations|
|🇬🇷 Greece||No, informal relations|
|🇮🇪 Ireland||No, informal relations|
|🇮🇱 Israel||No, informal relations|
|🇮🇹 Italy||No, informal relations|
|🇯🇵 Japan||No, informal relations|
|🇱🇻 Latvia||No, informal relations|
|🇱🇹 Lithuania||No, informal relations|
|🇱🇺 Luxembourg||No, informal relations|
|🇲🇭 Marshall Islands||No|
|🇲🇽 Mexico||No, informal relations|
|🇲🇩 Moldova||No, informal relations|
|🇳🇱 Netherlands||No, informal relations|
|🇳🇿 New Zealand||No, informal relations|
|🇲🇰 North Macedonia||No|
|🇳🇴 Norway||No, informal relations|
|🇵🇹 Portugal||No, informal relations|
|🇸🇲 San Marino||No|
|🇸🇮 Slovenia||No, informal relations|
|🇸🇧 Solomon Islands||No|
|🇰🇷 South Korea||No, informal relations|
|🇪🇸 Spain||No, informal relations|
|🇨🇭 Switzerland||No, informal relations|
|🇹🇹 Trinidad and Tobago||No|
|🇬🇧 United Kingdom||No, informal relations|
|🇺🇸 United States||No, informal relations|
Many of the world’s Western countries, including the entire G7, do not recognize Palestine. Instead, many maintain informal diplomatic relations.
In contrast, emerging major economies like those within BRICS and other G20 nations, including Argentina, Indonesia, Türkiye, and Saudi Arabia, officially recognize the state.
In 2012, the State of Palestine was also upgraded by the UN to become a non-member observer state, a status shared only by the Holy See of Vatican City.
Hamas and the Gaza Strip
Officially, the United Nations recognizes the PLO as the governing entity in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip, both of which fell under Israeli control following the 1967 Six-Day War.
After the Oslo Accords were signed by Israel and the PLO in the mid 1990s, the PLO gained control over the Gaza Strip and 40% of the West Bank through the newly-created Palestinian Authority administration.
However, following a 2007 military conflict between rival Palestinian factions Fatah (the majority party of the PLO) and Hamas (a militant political party separate from the PLO), the Gaza Strip has been governed by Hamas.
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The recognition of Israel’s sovereignty has remained a dynamic and intricate issue since its establishment in 1948.
29 Countries Do Not Recognize Israel
As of November 2023, 164 of the 193 UN members recognize Israel as a state, including all G7 countries. Even the State of Palestine recognized Israel as part of the Oslo Accords in 1993.
Here are the 29 countries that don’t recognize Israel:
|🇧🇴 Bolivia||Suspended/Cut Relations|
|🇲🇻 Maldives||Suspended/Cut Relations|
|🇲🇱 Mali||Suspended/Cut Relations|
|🇲🇷 Mauritania||Suspended/Cut Relations|
|🇳🇪 Niger||Suspended/Cut Relations|
|🇰🇵 North Korea||Never|
|🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia||Never|
|🇻🇪 Venezuela||Suspended/Cut Relations|
With the exception of four countries—Bolivia, Cuba, North Korea, Venezuela—the countries that do not recognize Israel are predominantly Muslim.
Iraq, Lebanon, and Syria have never recognized Israel and technically remain in a state of war with the country. Iran also doesn’t recognize Israel, but actually had relations with the country in the past before severing all ties following the 1979 Iranian Revolution.
Likewise, Cuba recognized Israel in 1949, but reversed its position in 1973 and actively supported Egypt and Syria against it during that year’s Yom Kippur War.
On the other hand, some Muslim-majority countries including Egypt, Jordan, and the UAE, have gradually normalized with the country.
Effects of the Israel-Hamas War
Relations between Israel and other countries are often strained when it engages in military conflicts, especially in the Gaza Strip.
In some cases those relations have broken completely. Venezuela broke all diplomatic ties with Israel during the 2008–2009 Israel–Gaza conflict. More recently, Bolivia cut official ties with Israel over the ongoing Israel-Hamas War.
As of November 2023, 85% of UN members recognized Israel as a country, compared to 72% for the State of Palestine.
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