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Wednesday 29 November 2023 Dublin: 2°C
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Foreign Affairs

Micheál Martin heads to Israel and Palestine to discuss politics and human rights in the region

The visit comes amid escalating violence between the two sides.

TÁNAISTE MICHEÁL MARTIN will begin a five-day visit today to Israel, Palestine and Jordan today to discuss the political, security and human rights situation in the region.

The Fianna Fáil leader will travel as part of his role as Minister for Foreign Affairs, and will meet with senior politicians in all three locations, as well as with UN and civil society representatives who are supporting people in the region.

The visit comes amid escalating violence between Israeli forces and Palestinians.

Earlier this year, Israel was criticised by the United Nations and an EU delegation for a 48-hour raid on a Palestinian refugee camp in Jenin, in what was the country’s largest operation in Palestinian territory for a number of years.

Martin’s visit to the region is the first by an Irish minister since 2021, and the Tánaiste previously travelled to Israel when he was Foreign Affairs minister in 2008. 

While in Israel, the minister will hold a courtesy call with the country’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and also plans to meet with President Isaac Herzog and Foreign Minister Eli Cohen.

The Tánaiste will also meet with President Mahmoud Abbas in the occupied West Bank later in the week, before travelling to Jordan, where he will meet with Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister HE Ayman Safadi.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, Martin said it would be an important opportunity to witness the political, security and human rights situation in the region first-hand.

“There has been a worrying escalation in violence over recent months. Ireland has been consistent in its calls for the protection of civilians and the application of international law,” he said.

“This visit will allow the opportunity to discuss directly these issues with political leaders, as well as with Ireland’s civil society partners.”

The Tánaiste added that the visit to Jordan will be his first to the country since the opening of Ireland’s Embassy in the capital Amman.

He is expected to arrive in Israel this evening and will depart from Jordan on Friday.

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