The Italian parliament on Friday backed a non-binding resolution urging the government to recognize Palestine as an independent state. The motion passed by a majority of 300 to 45.
The motion is understood to be similar to the one put forth in Sweden – where the government formally recognized a Palestinian state last October –, as well as France, Britain, Ireland, Portugal and Spain last year.
The motions in question, however, have little, if any, actual diplomatic effect and are chiefly a symbolic gesture.
The Italian version of the bill was proposed by MPs from the Left Ecology Freedom Party and 5 Stars Movement.; it is also expected to be backed by Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s Democratic Party.
The bill urges such recognition as a step towards restarting negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.
Israel is a consistent critic of such notions. As France’s upper house of parliament voted to urge the government to recognize a Palestinian state, Israel’s Foreign Ministry released a statement, saying the decision “distances the chance to move toward a peace agreement and sends the wrong message to the Palestinians who are not willing to follow the path of negotiations.