British MPs Vote to Recognize Palestine
The House of Commons backed the move "as a contribution to securing a negotiated two-state solution" - although less than half of MPs took part in the vote.
The result, 274 to 12, is symbolic but could have international implications.
Ministers abstained on the vote, on a motion put forward by Labour MP Grahame Morris and amended by former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw.
...The full motion stated: "That this House believes that the government should recognise the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel as a contribution to securing a negotiated two-state solution."
Explaining Labour's support, shadow foreign minister Ian Lucas said it would "strengthen the moderate voices among the Palestinians who want to pursue the path of politics, not the path of violence".
"This is not an alternative to negotiations. It is a bridge for beginning them," he said.
Conservative Nicholas Soames said: "I'm convinced that to recognise Palestine is both morally right and is in our national interest."
Another former foreign secretary, Conservative MP Sir Malcolm Rifkind, said he too wanted to see a two-state solution but added: "Symbolism sometimes has a purpose. It sometimes has a role. But I have to say you do not recognise a state which has not yet got the fundamental ingredients that a state requires if it's going to carry out its international functions and therefore, at the very least, I would respectfully suggest this motion is premature."
Britain is now one of over 100 countries who have cast a symbolic vote to recognize the State of Palestine. While the vote carries no real power over foreign policy, it is an undeniable push for a two-state solution in the face of what many see to be a failed peace process on the part of America and Israel.
"That awkward moment when Palestinians praise the old colonialist empire for giving it recognition," noted Zionist Chloe Valdary commented via social media.