The State of Palestine is a partially recognized sovereign state, similar to Kosovo and Taiwan, which is currently classified as a “non-member observer state” by the United Nations. As of April 2022, Palestine 138 of the United Nations’ 193 members (and one observer) have recognized Palestine. Geographically, Palestine is located in the Mediterranean Middle East and consists of two non-contiguous territories: the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. These territories are separated by Israel, another partially recognized country—but one that has gained enough recognition (162 of 193 members) to join the U.N.—though its statehood is disputed by some members.
Palestine and Israel are the two main players in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a political and military dispute in which both Palestinian Jews and Israeli Arabs/Muslims claim the same territory—particularly the city of Jerusalem—which is considered holy by both faiths. While the two are currently locked in a politically complex, at times violent stalemate, Palestine continues to seek formal recognition from enough United Nations member states so that it, too, may achieve full U.N.-member status. A list of countries that recognize Palestine appears below, and the full data set complete with dates appears further down this page.
Every country that currently recognizes Palestine:
A brief summary of the conflict between Israel and Palestine
The region of modern-day Palestine has been ruled by several groups throughout history, including the Greeks, the Romans, and the Ottoman Empire. After World War I, the British controlled a region called Mandatory Palestine, which encompassed territory that would become modern Palestine, Israel, and parts of Jordan and Egypt. However, both Jews and Arabs/Muslims declared it was their right to establish a new, exclusive country in the area.
In 1947, the United Nations proposed the two-state solution, which would divide Mandatory Palestine into two separate nations: a Jewish state and an Arab state. Neither state would possess Jerusalem, which would become an internationalized territory.
While Jewish leaders accepted the plan, Arab leaders opposed it, arguing that they represented the majority of the population in certain regions and should be given more territory. The Arab state of Israel was founded in May 1948, coinciding with the British withdrawal from Palestine, and the Arab-Israeli conflict quickly broke out between Israel and Jordan, Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, and Palestine. Although its intensity has waxed and waned over the decades, the conflict continues today.
In 1988, the Palestinian Declaration of Independence proclaimed the establishment of the State of Palestine. The Declaration was recognized by several countries shortly after. In 1993 and 1995, the Oslo Accords were signed by Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization to resolve the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including establishing the Palestinian National Authority as a self-governing interim administration in areas of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
Today, much of Palestine is occupied territory, with West Bank split between Palestinians and Israeli occupiers and Gaza Strip occupied by Hamas, a fundamentalist Islamic group unaffiliated with either Israel or Palestine. While the various factions have attempted to negotiate over the years, no agreement has been made. As a result, instability, displacement, and violence still occur throughout the region.
Many of the countries that do not recognize Palestine as a state, such as the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Japan, and Canada, support a two-state solution. However, their recognition of a Palestinian state is conditioned on direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian National Authority.