Jamaica becomes 142nd country to recognize state of Palestine

Jamaica has announced its decision to recognise the state of Palestine, joining 141 member states of the United Nations that recognise Palestine's sovereignty.

"Jamaica continues to advocate for a two-state solution as the only viable option to resolve the longstanding conflict, guarantee the security of Israel and uphold the dignity and rights of Palestinians," Kamina Johnson Smith, Jamaica's Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, said in a statement on Tuesday.

"By recognising the State of Palestine, Jamaica strengthens its advocacy towards a peaceful solution."

Majed Bamya, Deputy Permanent Observer of the state of Palestine to the UN, took to Twitter to announce Jamaica's decision.

"Thank you for standing by peace, justice and our people's right to self-determination," Amal Jadou, Deputy Foreign Minister of Palestine, wrote on X.

Principles enshrined in UN Charter

Smith attributed Jamaica's decision to the nation's deep-seated concerns about Israel's war on Gaza and the escalating humanitarian crisis.

Rather than resorting to military actions, she said, the government champions a diplomatic approach for a peaceful resolution to the Israel-Palestine conflict.

This decision, according to the minister, echoes Jamaica's unwavering dedication to the principles enshrined in the United Nations Charter, promoting mutual respect and harmonious coexistence among nations, while fiercely advocating for the right of peoples to self-determination.

Smith also reaffirmed Jamaica's unwavering support for an immediate ceasefire, increased humanitarian aid access for the embattled residents of Gaza and freedom of Israeli hostages.

She particularly emphasised solidarity with the countless women and children of Gaza who have borne the brunt of daily suffering, underscoring Jamaica's commitment to alleviating their plight and fostering hope for a brighter future.

Committed to diplomatic solutions

"Jamaica continues to support all efforts for de-escalation and the establishment of lasting peace in the region, imploring all parties to consider the dire consequences of further conflict and commit to diplomatic solutions ensuring the safety and sovereignty of all," Smith noted.

The decision comes close on the heels of Barbados announcing its decision to officially recognise Palestine as a state, becoming the 11th Caribbean Community [CARICOM] member to do so.

"How can we say we want a two-state solution if we do not recognise Palestine as a State," Barbados Foreign Minister Kerrie Symmonds said in a statement last week.