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On 24 December Ecuador became the latest Latin American country to formally recognize Palestine as an independent state. Argentina, Boliva, Brazil and Uruguay announced their recognition of Palestine earlier this month, drawing harsh responses from Israel.
President Rafael Correa signed the recognition of a free and independent Palestine with 1967 borders, referring to the Israeli capture of Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip during the 1967 Six-Day War.
Palestinians are hoping to gain international recognition as an independent state, which would be a route to statehood that bypasses an agreement with Israel. More than 130 countries have awarded recognition to Palestine.
A statement from Ecuador’s foreign ministry said their decision, "vindicates the valid and legitimate desire of the Palestinian people for a free and independent state". This was less virulent than the recent charges of "genocide" by Bolivian President Evo Morales.
Ecuador’s resolution will be given to Fatah party chief Mahmud Abbas as well as to the Palestinian representative to the United Nations.
On 15 December the US House of Representatives unanimously approved a resolution opposing the unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state.