Armenia says recognizes State of Palestine

Armenia announced Friday its recognition of the State of Palestine, the latest country to do so during the war in Gaza, saying it was against "violence towards civilian populations."

A series of countries have recognised the State of Palestine amid the war between Israel and Hamas, drawing strong rebukes from Israeli officials.

"Confirming its commitment to international law, equality of nations, sovereignty and peaceful coexistence, the Republic of Armenia recognises the State of Palestine," Yerevan said.

Armenia added that it is "genuinely interested in establishing long-term peace and stability in the Middle-East."

Yerevan, which has itself been ridden by conflict with neighbouring Azerbaijan for decades, slammed Israel's military conduct in Gaza.

"Armenia deplores using civilian infrastructure as shields during armed conflicts and violence towards civilian populations," the ministry said.

It also deplored Hamas for "the captivity of civilian persons" and said it "joins the demands of international community on freeing them."

A senior official from the Palestinian Authority, Hussein Al-Sheikh, welcomed the move.

"This is a victory for right, justice, legitimacy and the struggle of our Palestinian people for liberation and independence," Al-Sheikh said on social media.

"Thank you our friend Armenia."

Israel launched its war on Gaza in retaliation for the Hamas' Oct. 7 attacks that resulted in the deaths of more than 1,190 people, mostly civilians, according to Israeli official figures.

Hamas seized 251 hostages. Of these 116 remain in Gaza, although the army says 41 of them are dead.

Israel's offensive has killed more than 37,431 people in Gaza, mostly civilians, according to the...

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