Britain is contemplating the recognition of a Palestinian state, according to David Cameron, the former British prime minister and current Foreign Secretary. During a visit to Lebanon aimed at easing regional tensions, Cameron expressed that official recognition might occur after a Gaza ceasefire, without waiting for lengthy talks between Israel and the Palestinians on a two-state solution.
Cameron clarified that recognition couldn’t happen while Hamas remains in control of Gaza but could take place during ongoing negotiations between Israel and Palestinian leaders. He emphasized that the recognition of an independent Palestinian state, including at the United Nations, doesn’t have to be the end of the process but could be considered as progress toward a solution becomes more tangible.
Highlighting the importance of providing the Palestinian people with a vision for a better future, Cameron sees the prospect of an independent Palestinian state as crucial for long-term peace and security in the region. Western countries, including Britain and the U.S., have supported the idea of an independent Palestine alongside Israel, but the issue remains part of a negotiated settlement that hasn’t seen substantive progress since 2009.
Cameron stressed that the initial step should be a pause in the fighting in Gaza, evolving into a permanent and sustainable ceasefire. He added a condition for recognizing a Palestinian state: the leaders of the Hamas militant group would need to leave Gaza. This requirement aligns with the need for a two-state solution without Gaza controlled by those responsible for past hostilities.
Additionally, Cameron shared a proposal to deescalate tensions along the Lebanon-Israel border, involving Britain training Lebanese army forces for enhanced security measures in the border region. This initiative aims to address the frequent clashes between Hezbollah and Israeli forces over the past four months, reducing the risk of a broader conflict.