Armenia recognises Palestine over Israel's 'violence against civilians'

Armenia recognises Palestine over Israel's 'violence against civilians'
Armenia's decision comes following the recognition of the State of Palestine by Spain, Norway and Ireland.
2 min read
In 2020 Armenian President Armen Sarkissian met with President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas [Photo by MUSA AL-SHAER/AFP via Getty Images]

Armenia announced Friday it was recognising the State of Palestine, the latest country to do so during the war in Gaza, saying it was against "violence towards civilian populations."

A series of countries have recognised the State of Palestine amid the war between Israel and Hamas, drawing strong rebukes from Israeli officials.

"Confirming its commitment to international law, equality of nations, sovereignty and peaceful coexistence, the Republic of Armenia recognises the State of Palestine," Yerevan said.

Armenia added that it is "genuinely interested in establishing long-term peace and stability in the Middle-East."

Yerevan, which has itself been ridden by conflict with neighbouring Azerbaijan for decades, slammed Israel's military conduct in Gaza.

"Armenia deplores using civilian infrastructure as shields during armed conflicts and violence towards civilian populations," the ministry said.

Israel's war on Gaza has killed at least 37,431 Palestinians in Gaza and injured a further 85,653 people, leaving much of the enclave in rubble.

It also deplored Hamas for "the captivity of civilian persons" and said it "joins the demands of international community on freeing them."

Hamas' 7 October attack on Israel, which resulted in the deaths of 1,194 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli figures, also saw the taking of 251 captives, 116 of whom remain in Gaza, including 41 the army says are dead.

Shortly after the former Soviet republic announced the recognition, Israel's foreign ministry summoned Yerevan's ambassador.

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"Following Armenia's recognition of a Palestinian state, the foreign ministry summoned the Armenian ambassador in Israel for a severe reprimand," it said in a statement.

A senior official from the Palestinian Authority, Hussein Al-Sheikh, meanwhile, welcomed the move.

"This is a victory for right, justice, legitimacy and the struggle of our Palestinian people for liberation and independence," Al-Sheikh said on social media.

"Thank you our friend Armenia."

A number of states have recognised the State of Palestine following the outbreak of Israel's war on Gaza, including Spain, Ireland and Norway.

Israel is a major arms supplier to Armenia's arch-foe neighbour Azerbaijan, with which Yerevan had been locked in a decades-long territorial dispute over the Nagorno-Karabakh region that Baku recaptured last year from Armenian separatists.