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Following Ireland, Norway, Spain and Slovenia, Armenia recognizes Palestinian statehood

Palestinians raise Palestinian flags in protest against the Israeli decision to prevent the raising of the Palestinian flag in the areas named Areas (B) and (C), in the Balata refugee camp near the city of Nablus, May 18, 2023. (Photo: Nasser Ishtayeh /Flash90)

Armenia recognized Palestinian statehood on Friday, making it the fifth country to do so in 2024 and the 145th to do so overall. The move comes after Ireland, Norway, Spain and Slovenia all formally recognized "Palestine" at the end of May.

In a statement on Friday, the Armenian Foreign Ministry announced that it supports an immediate ceasefire to the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza and a two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

In response to the recognition, Israel’s Foreign Ministry summoned the Armenian ambassador to Israel, Arman Akopian, for “a harsh reprimand conversation.” 

Both the Hamas terrorist organization and the Palestinian Authority (PA) praised Armenia’s decision.

Hamas wrote that the recognition is “an additional and important step towards solidifying the international recognition of our people's rights and their aspirations to end the Nazi-Zionist occupation of their land and establish their fully sovereign independent state with Jerusalem as its capital,” urging other countries to follow suit.

The PA responded by claiming that recognition “promotes peace.”

“This recognition contributes positively to preserving the two-state solution, which faces systematic challenges, and promotes security, peace and stability for all parties involved,” the PA said in a statement.

Israel and Armenia currently have diplomatic relations, but the relationship is tense, as Israel has close ties with Azerbaijan, a nation in an ongoing military conflict with Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh. Among other things, Israel sells weapons to Azerbaijan. Furthermore, Israel has not formally recognized Turkey’s genocide against around one million Armenians from 1915-1916.

David May, research manager and senior research analyst at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) said that Armenia’s recognition reflects the conflicting interests of Armenia and Israel.

“Armenia’s action underscores the conflicting interests in the region. Armenia and Israel share the trauma of suffering genocide and both face threats from hostile Muslim nations, making them natural allies. But Israel’s close ties with Azerbaijan, as a counterweight to Iran, place Jerusalem and Yerevan on opposing sides of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict,” May explained.  

Other experts said that Armenia’s move was a matter of taking revenge on Israel for its involvement with Azerbaijan.

“Armenia’s decision to recognize a Palestinian state is not a calculated decision founded on sound policy but payback for Israel’s support of Azerbaijan. The Azeris, supported by Turkey and Israel, inflicted a crushing military defeat on Armenia over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh in 2020. Israel has long calculated that Azerbaijan is a necessary regional counterbalance against Iran, complicating its ties with Armenia,” said Sinan Ciddi, a non-resident senior fellow at the FDD.

Israel is home to an ancient Armenian community dating back to the 4th century and a modern community that was founded by Armenians who survived the Ottoman genocide and immigrated in 1915. There are approximately 10,000 ethnic Armenians living in Israel, according to the Armenian government.

Most Armenians in Israel live in Jerusalem, where the Armenian Quarter in the Old City has been home to the Armenian Christian patriarch since the 7th century.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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