Britain votes to officially recognize Palestine

The British Parliament has passed a non-binding resolution to recognize the Palestinian state with a majority of the votes.

British Members of Parliament (MPs) voted in favor of the motion with a majority of 274 to 12 after a six-hour debate on Monday.

The debate was initiated in the House of Commons by Labour MP Graham Morris, who said that the UK is morally responsible to take action because of its history as a colonial power in the region.

Throughout the debate, the plight of the Palestinians was reportedly highlighted by many MPs.

Prime Minister David Cameron was amongst the government members who refrained from voting.

The debate was being watched around the world, following Sweden’s recent decision to recognize Palestine as a sovereign state which drew anger from Israel earlier in the month. Other European countries are also likely follow suit.

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven made the announcement during his inauguration speech at the Swedish parliament on October 3.

On November 29, 2012, the 193-member United Nations General Assembly voted to upgrade Palestine’s status to non-member observer state.

Palestinians are seeking to create an independent state on the territories of the West Bank, East al-Quds, and the Gaza Strip and are demanding that Israel withdraw from the occupied Palestinian territories.

Tel Aviv, however, has refused to return to the 1967 borders and is unwilling to discuss the issue of al-Quds.