The Italian parliament is expected to cast a vote on the recognition of a Palestinian state as soon as Thursday, following similar moves by other European Union countries, the Italian news agency ANSAmed reported.
While most developing countries recognize Palestine as a state, most Western European countries do not, supporting the Israeli and US position that an independent Palestinian state should emerge from negotiations with Israel.
The Italian Democratic Party (PD) said it would back the motion, as did MPs from the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S), while Italy's far-right Northern League and center-right Forza Italia party announced it would vote against it.
- Swedish FM: Israel irritating allies over Palestine recognition
- UN Security Council rejects Palestinian statehood resolution
- French vote urges recognition of Palestinian state
The ANSAmed report cited a statement issued by the Israeli embassy in Rome in which it spoke out against the proposed resolution, saying: "It is clear that any premature recognition would only encourage Palestinians not to resume talks with Israel and it would make the possibility of peace less likely''.
The parliaments of several European countries, including Britain, France and Spain, have in recent months passed non-binding votes recognizing Palestine, angering Israel.
Israel is committed to the establishment of a Palestinian state under a peace agreement, but says such resolutions encourage the Palestinians to avoid negotiations. On October 30, Sweden's government became the first western European nation in the EU to recognize Palestinian statehood. Since then, lawmakers in Britain, Spain and Ireland have approved non-binding motions urging recognition.
Recently, members of the European Parliament began debating whether they can agree on a common approach for the European Union's 28 member states.
News agencies contributed to this report.