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Ireland is giving €200,000 to support Palestinians in the West Bank

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney arrived in Israel on Tuesday for a three-day visit to the Middle East.

Coveney signs agreement in East Jerusalem
Coveney signs agreement in East Jerusalem
Image: Department of Foreign Affairs

MINISTER FOR FOREIGN Affairs Simon Coveney has signed an agreement to give €200,000 to support vulnerable Palestinians in the West Bank area.

Coveney signed the deal in Ramallah, a Palestinian city in the West Bank, today.

The deal establishes a partnership between Ireland and the West Bank Protection Consortium, with funding of €200,000 to be provided in 2017.

Created through the European Commission, the West Bank Protection Consortium is made up of a network of non-governmental organisations and international donors. It works with the communities within the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

Coveney arrived in Israel on Tuesday for a three-day visit to the Middle East.

Speaking after the signing ceremony earlier today, on the final day of his visit, Coveney said:

“This is an important new partnership for Ireland and underlines our commitment to reducing the vulnerability of Palestinian communities living in Area C [which is under full Israeli control] of the West Bank.

The humanitarian situation in the West Bank remains difficult.
Membership of the Consortium by EU member states, including Ireland, represents a significant and visible commitment by the EU and its member states to support the right of Palestinians to remain in Area C and East Jerusalem.

Israeli dissatisfaction 

Today’s agreement comes after Coveney’s meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday, in which he expressed criticism of Ireland’s position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“Prime Minister Netanyahu expressed his dissatisfaction over Ireland’s traditional stance and told the Foreign Minister that his country does not condemn Palestinians for incitement and for glorifying those who commit terrorist attacks,” a post on Netanyahu’s Facebook said.

The Prime Minister also asked him why Ireland helps NGOs that call for the destruction of Israel and noted that many European countries are overlooking the core problem of the conflict – the Palestinian refusal to recognize the state of the Jews.

Irish Palestinian support

Four of Ireland’s county councils have expressed their solidarity with Palestine in recent months, by voting to fly the Palestinian flags above their council buildings.

On Monday, South Dublin County Council passed a motion to fly the Palestinian flag over the County Hall in Tallaght for a month in solidarity with the “oppressed people of Palestine”.

South Dublin County Council will become the fourth Irish local authority to fly the Palestinian flag, following in the footsteps of Dublin City Council, Galway County Council and Sligo County Council, who all voted to fly the flag in recent months.

Dublin City was the first council to pass a motion to fly the Palestinian.

The flag flew over Dublin’s City Hall for the month of May.

Councillor Enda Fanning, who proposed the motion, said:

“I am delighted with [the] vote in solidarity with the people of Palestine. It might seem like a very small gesture but I know from the reaction to similar decisions made by other councils that today’s vote will be applauded across Palestine and elsewhere.”

Read: Netanyahu posts criticism of ‘Ireland’s traditional stance’ on Facebook after Coveney meeting

More: South Dublin County Council to fly Palestinian flag for a month as “message of solidarity”

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