Palestinian resistance faction Hamas on Thursday welcomed a decision by the Swedish government to recognize the Palestinian state, describing the decision as an "important political development."
The faction said in a statement that the Swedish recognition of the Palestinian state was an achievement for the struggle of the Palestinian people against the latest Zionist offensive on the Gaza Strip.
It called on other countries to follow in the footsteps of Sweden, isolate the so-called 'Israel' and bring its leaders to court for the crimes it committed against the Palestinian people as well as against Islamic and Christian holy sites in the Palestinian territories.
Earlier Thursday, Sweden – in line with a statement made one month earlier – officially recognized the State of Palestine, becoming the first E.U. member to do so.
A handful of European countries – including Hungary, Poland and Slovakia – have already recognized Palestine as a state. They all did so, however, before joining the E.U.
In late 2012, Palestine was granted non-member observer status at the United Nations.