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Palestine

Ireland aims to recognise Palestinian State on 21 May as Tánaiste hopes more countries will come on board

Martin said what is happening in Rafah and Gaza is “absolutely shocking and unacceptable”.

IRELAND IS AIMING to recognise the State of Palestine on 21 May, it is understood.

Speaking in the Dáil today, Tánaiste Micheál Martin said Ireland and Spain have a very clear direction of travel on the matter, stating that coordination with others and getting as many member states as possible on board is important for Palestinians’ right to self-determination and their right to their own state as it it will have impact internationally.

Taoiseach Simon Harris said today that Ireland is moving closer to formally recognising the State of Palestine stating that there is a “clear plan” after meeting with his Spanish counterpart Pedro Sanchez this week.

The two leaders have been in regular contact about appealing to other European states to sign up to their plan for a joint declaration recognising Palestine.

“Myself and Prime Minister Sanchez have an understanding that we won’t put into the public domain a specific date and that’s for a very straightforward reason because there’s still conversations ongoing with other leaders of other countries and I intend to have further conversations with other leaders of other European countries.

“But as I’ve said, as the Tanaiste says, as Mr Ryan says, the time is coming closer to do the right thing, for Ireland to show leadership with a number of other countries in terms of taking forward the two-state solution proposal which has to recognise the existence of two states,” Harris told reporters today. 

On Friday, there is an important vote at the United Nations General Assembly on a proposal seeking admission of Palestine to the United Nations, the Tánaiste said today.

He confirmed that Ireland will support the motion.

The vote on Friday follows on from the Security Council’s failure to take action following a US veto.

“Unfortunately, there are legislative issues in the US in terms of tied aid and the provision of humanitarian supports. We are very clearly supporting this initiative. We believe there could be a very significant vote at the UN General Assembly in favour of admission.

“That is on Friday. Following that, working with Spain and potentially others, I will bring proposals to the Government in terms of the recognition of a Palestinian state,” he said. 

Martin said what is happening in Rafah and Gaza is “absolutely shocking and unacceptable”.

“In our view, it represents a clear violation of international humanitarian law. We have made that clear,” he said.   

People Before Profit’s Bríd Smith raised the issue of student protests on the issue stating that it was ordinary Dunnes workers that took action against the apartheid in South Africa decades ago. She said it took three years for the government of that day to take action, stating that today, it is the students that are pushing for action.

She accused the government of not doing enough, stating that sanctions and the cancellation of contracts should be carried out. Smith said the Israeli ambassador to Ireland should have been expelled a long time ago. 

Martin denied that the government had done nothing, stating that Ireland has made submissions to the International Criminal Court, and was one of the few countries to make a strong oral presentation. 

Ireland has been strongly supportive of the UN agencies, in particular UNRWA, he added. 

“Our recent intervention in Israel’s allegations against UNRWA were particularly effective and impactful in turning the tide back towards UNRWA, with countries removing their suspensions and providing aid to the agency once again. Ireland’s advocacy has been well appreciated in that regard,” he said.

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