Tel Aviv: After making the announcement a week back, the European Union (EU) nations Spain, Norway and Ireland formally recognised the Palestinian state on Tuesday, The Hill reported.

This further shows intensifying pressure on Israel from Europe on its ongoing war with Hamas in Gaza.

Spanish President Pedro Sanchez called the move "a historic decision that has a single goal, and that is to help Israelis and Palestinians achieve peace."

The recognition, which is not expected to have an impact on the conflict, was quickly denounced by the Israeli government.

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz compared the Spanish Vice President to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, and said the Spanish government was "being complicit in inciting genocide against Jews and war crimes", The Hill reported.

Irish Prime Minister Simon Harris said the recognition "sends a signal to the world that there are practical actions you can take as a country to help keep the hope and destination of a two-state solution alive at a time when others are trying to sadly bomb it into oblivion."

Nine members of the European Union, along with Norway, now formally recognize Palestine as a sovereign state, though previously Sweden was the only major power on the continent to do so.

Around 140 out of over 190 countries represented in the UN have already recognized a Palestinian state.

EU members Malta and Slovenia have also affirmed that they may follow suit, though not immediately, as reported by The Hill.

The Biden administration has repeatedly backed a two-state solution between Israel and Palestine, which would include an independent Palestinian state, but Washington has not formally recognized it. Also, none of the major Western powers have made the recognition.

According to The Hill, the latest development represents the quick downfall in relations between Israel and Europe, as criticism mounts over Israel's military operations in Rafah, where over a million Palestinian civilians are believed to be taking refuge.

Irish Foreign Minister Micheal Martin said Monday that he saw "significant discussion on sanctions" against Israel for the first time from EU leaders in private meetings.

Meanwhile, Israel on Monday told the Spanish consulate in Jerusalem to stop offering consular services to Palestinians from June 1 over Madrid's recognition of a Palestinian state.

The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that it has instructed the Spanish consulate in Jerusalem to stop providing consular services to Palestinians in the occupied West Bank as of June 1 over its recognition of a Palestinian state.

The directive is effective from June 1, the ministry said in a statement. "The Ministry finds such statements to be an affront to Israel's sovereignty and security. At the instruction of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, as of 1 June 2024, the Consulate General of Spain in Jerusalem may provide consular services strictly to residents of the consular district of Jerusalem."

Last week, the International Criminal Court (ICC) recommended that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli leaders, as well as Hamas leaders, be arrested on charges of war crimes.

The US strongly denounced the proposed charges. The US Congress is expected to vote on a bill to 'sanction' the international judicial body, The Hill reported.

In another significant development last week, the UN-backed International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordered Israel to stop its operations in Rafah last week.

Israel has also faced increasing diplomatic pressure from the United Nations. The UN General Assembly recently voted to advocate for a cease-fire in the war. It also voted earlier this month to grant new "rights and privileges" to Palestine in a sign of growing international support for full voting membership.

However, the Israeli government has been generally opposed to Palestinian statehood, meaning the new recognition will likely result in little change on the ground, as negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority have halted during the conflict, according to The Hill.

The Palestinian Authority controls the West Bank, though was pushed out of Gaza in 2006 after the region was taken over by Hamas. The US has reportedly urged the Israeli government to allow the Palestinian Authority into Gaza as its military clears the region, though Netanyahu has strongly denounced the concept.

(With Agency Inputs)