The Netherlands has approved a draft law to recognize Israeli-occupied territories as accepted birthplaces for Palestinians who were born in the country after 1948. Last Friday, Dutch State Secretary Raymond Knops told the House of Representatives at The Hague that the occupied territories would be added to the list of territories that the Dutch civil registry accepts, as reported by Israeli newspaper Hareetz. Up until now, the birthplace of Palestinians living in the country has been recorded as "Israel" or "unknown." The Netherlands does not yet recognize the state of Palestine, however, with the new law, the country is beginning to recognize Palestinian territories as the people's origin of birth. Regarding the peace process, the Netherlands favors a two-state solution, which would enable a secure Israel and an independent Palestinian state to exist peacefully side by side.
Israel occupied the West Bank in the 1967 Six-Day War and hundreds of thousands of Jewish-Israelis are now living in the territory, which is claimed by Palestinians for their future independent state. Some 500,000 Israelis live in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, areas that are also home to more than 2.6 million Palestinians. Palestinians have long argued that the Israeli settlements could deny them a viable and contiguous state.