December 17 - European Parliament Votes to Recognize 'Palestine'
Article: Israel And The Last Days
The European Parliament overwhelmingly backed the recognition of a Palestinian state "in principle" on Wednesday, following a series of votes on the issue in EU nations which have angered Israel. Lawmakers approved the motion by 498 votes to 88 with 111 abstentions, although it was a watered down version of an original motion which had urged EU member states to recognize a Palestinian state unconditionally.
The socialist, greens and radical left groups in the European Parliament had wanted an outright call for the recognition of Palestinian statehood. But the centre-right European People's Party of European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker, the leading group in parliament, forced them into a compromise motion linking it to peace talks. "There is no immediate unconditional recognition (of statehood)," EPP chief Manfred Weber said. But his socialist counterpart Gianni Pittella insisted it was a "historic decision" and a "victory for the whole parliament".