Norway, Ireland and Spain recognized a Palestinian state in a historic move Wednesday. Israel’s Foreign Minister Israel Katz has ordered Israel’s ambassadors from Ireland and Norway to immediately return to Israel. Several European Union countries indicated in recent weeks that they plan to make the recognition, arguing a two-state solution is essential for lasting peace in the region.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas welcomed the recognition of a Palestinian state and called on other countries to follow. In a statement carried by the official WAFA news agency, he said Norway’s decision would enshrine “the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination” and support efforts to bring about a two-state solution with Israel.

Israel and the United States were already dealing with fallout after chief prosecutor of the world’s top war crimes court requested arrest warrants for leaders of both Israel and Hamas. Among the prosecutor’s allegations against Israel was using “starvation as a method of warfare.” Israeli and U.S. leaders harshly condemned the accusations.

The humanitarian crisis in Gaza has escalated over the past two weeks since Israel launched an incursion into Rafah that closed a vital border crossing, vowing to root out Hamas fighters. The fighting sent hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fleeing out of Rafah, many of whom were displaced earlier in the Israel-Hamas war.

Israel launched its war in Gaza after Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack in which militants stormed into southern Israel, killed about 1,200 people — mostly civilians — and abducted about 250.

At least 35,000 Palestinians have been killed in the war, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry, which doesn’t distinguish between combatants and civilians. Around 80% of the population of 2.3 million Palestinians has been displaced within the territory, often multiple times.


— Norway, Ireland and Spain recognize a Palestinian state in a historic move.

— The United Nations halts all food distribution in Rafah after running out of supplies in the southern Gaza city.

— Two debunked accounts of sexual violence on Oct. 7 fueled a global dispute over Israel-Hamas war.

— Israel tries to contain the fallout after some allies support ICC prosecutor’s request for warrants.

— Israel says it will return video equipment seized from the AP.

— Iran’s supreme leader presides over funeral for president and others killed in a helicopter crash.

Follow AP’s coverage of the war in Gaza at

Here’s the latest:

JERUSALEM — Aid groups say damage to water infrastructure and fuel shortages in southern Gaza have left some Palestinians surviving on as little as a half-liter (2 cups) of water per day. That has to cover drinking, washing and cooking, and is only 3% of the 15 liters per day that the World Health Organization says is needed for basic survival.

The International Rescue Committee and Medical Aid for Palestinians, which both operate in Gaza, say water-borne diseases have surged, in part because of the effect of water shortages on hygiene and sanitation. Kiryn Lanning, who leads the IRC’s work in Gaza, says staff visited a shelter where 10,000 people only received 4,000 liters of water per day. Another shelter, housing 8,000 people, had only 12 latrines, forcing over 600 people to share a single one.

Melanie Ward, the CEO of Medical Aid for Palestinians, said she had seen “literal lakes of human waste” next to tents in Rafah. Doctors with the group say diarrhea and skin diseases are on the rise, and that children have died from dehydration and starvation.

Israel’s incursion into Rafah earlier in May has caused around 900,000 Palestinians to flee the southern city, with many seeking refuge in squalid tent camps with no plumbing and few services. It has also severely restricted the ability to provide aid in the south. Israel seized control of the Rafah border crossing at the start of its incursion, forcing it to close. That was the main entry point for fuel, which is needed to power water infrastructure, hospitals and other infrastructure.

The United Nations suspended food distribution in Rafah on Tuesday, citing lack of supplies and security threats. Some 400,000 people are still believed to be in the city.

ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey welcomed Spain, Ireland and Norway’s decision to recognize a Palestinian state, calling it an important step toward the restoration of the “usurped rights of the Palestinians.”

The Turkish Foreign Ministry also said the move would help “Palestine gain the status it deserves in the international community.” Turkey would continue with efforts to press more states to recognize Palestine, the ministry said.

LONDON — Ireland has recognized a Palestinian state, Prime Minister Simon Harris said Wednesday.

Harris called the move, coordinated with Spain and Norway, “an historic and important day for Ireland and for Palestine.”

He said the move was intended to help move the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to resolution through a two-state solution. The Irish decision will formally take effect on May 28, the government said.

BARCELONA, Spain — Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez says that his country will recognize a Palestinian state on May 28.

Sánchez, Spain’s Socialist leader since 2018, made the expected announcement to the nation’s Parliament on Wednesday.

Sánchez has spent months touring European and Middle Eastern countries to garner support for the recognition of a Palestinian state, as well as a possible cease-fire in Gaza. He has said several times that he was committed to the move.

Earlier in May, Spain’s Foreign Minister José Albares said he had informed U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken of his government’s intention of recognizing a Palestinian state.

Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre said Wednesday that the country would formally recognize a Palestinian state, saying, “There cannot be peace in the Middle East if there is no recognition.”

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has welcomed Norway’s recognition of a Palestinian state and called on other countries to follow. In a statement carried by the official WAFA news agency, he said Norway’s decision, announced Wednesday, will enshrine “the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination” and support efforts to bring about a two-state solution with Israel.

Gahr Støre said the Scandinavian country will recognize a Palestinian state as of May 28.

Norway is not a member of the European Union but mirrors its moves, and has been an ardent supporter of a two-state solution between Israel and Palestinians.

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