The Greek parliament is expected to vote in favor of recognizing the state of Palestine Tuesday, providing a legislative stamp of approval to Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ longstanding support for the creation of an independent Palestinian state. The vote will come just days after the Greek parliament’s foreign affairs committee unanimously approved a nonbinding motion to recognize Palestine.
According to a Greek government source cited by Agence France-Presse (AFP), the parliamentary vote will also be attended by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who arrived in Athens Sunday, and is scheduled to meet Tsipras and Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos Monday.
“Greece has supported and supports within the framework of the United Nations, the European Union and other international forums, the creation of a viable Palestinian state with the borders of 1967 and with the capital in East Jerusalem,” Tspiras said last month, following negotiations with Israeli and Palestinian leaders.
However, even if Greece joins the growing list of nations that have granted legal recognition to Palestine, on the ground, the creation of a separate Palestinian state still remains a distant dream. Negotiations between Israeli and Palestinian authorities, interspersed with violent conflicts that have killed mostly Palestinians, have repeatedly fallen through.
The continued expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, which has faced widespread international criticism, has also made tackling the question of Palestinian sovereignty all the more difficult.
“The reality is that continued settlement activity in occupied Palestinian territory is doing significant damage to any possibility of a lasting peace between the two sides and is moving the situation ever closer to a one-state reality,” Jeffrey Feltman, the United Nations under secretary-general for political affairs, said last October.