Which countries recognize a state of Palestine?

FILE-Protesters attend a demonstration, in solidarity with the Palestinian people, against Israel's Gaza bombardment and to call for a ceasefire on March 30, 2024 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Stefano Montesi - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)

Spain, Ireland, and Norway announced that they will recognize a Palestinian state on May 28 in a big step toward Palestine’s goal to get their own state amid the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas. 

Several other European countries have in the past weeks indicated that they plan to recognize a Palestinian state, arguing a two-state solution is essential for lasting peace in the region.

RELATED: Hamas accepts ceasefire proposal, awaiting word from Israel

The decision by the countries could create momentum for the recognition of a Palestinian state by other European Union countries.

Seven members of the 27-nation European Union officially recognize a Palestinian state, and some 140 of the 190 countries represented in the U.N. have already recognized a Palestinian state, the Associated Press noted. 

RELATED: Israel-Hamas war: Protesters march around the world to call for ceasefire

Pressure on Israel has grown as the war with Hamas continues with the U.N. General Assembly voting on May 11 to grant new "rights and privileges" to Palestine in a sign of support for a vote on full voting membership. 

Why are the new European countries recognizing Palestine as a state important?

In 1947, a U.N. plan called for the forming of a Jewish state alongside a Palestinian state, but Palestinians and the wider Arab world rejected the plan because it would have given them less than half of the land even though Palestinians made up two-thirds of the population, according to the Associated Press. 

The Arab-Israeli war the following year gave Israel even more territory; Jordan in control of the West Bank and east Jerusalem, and Egypt in control of Gaza.

In the 1967 war, Israel seized all three territories, and decades of on-again, off-again peace talks have failed.

The United States, Britain, and other Western countries supported the idea of an independent Palestinian state existing alongside Israel as a solution to the Middle East’s conflict. However, the countries believe Palestinian statehood needs to be a negotiated settlement.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. This story was reported from Washington, D.C.