UK MPs have voted in favour of recognising Palestine as a state alongside Israel.
The vote – 274 to 12 – will not alter government policy but carries a symbolic value which is intended as a contribution to securing a negotiated two-state solution.
Britain’s government already reserves the right to recognise Palestine when it considers it “appropriate for the peace process”.
The Israeli government continues to dismiss unilateral moves to recognise Palestine, describing them as premature and claiming they will undermine attempts to reach a peace settlement between the two sides.
The vote comes after Sweden last week backed a similar motion and follows the UN General Assembly’s recognition of Palestine as a state in 2012.
Future parliamentary votes in Ireland, Denmark, Finland, and France are likely to confirm the shift of public opinion across Europe as efforts grow to preserve the viability of the two-state solution.