Ireland joins Spain and Norway in recognising the State of Palestine

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The Irish Government has announced that Ireland will recognise the State of Palestine, becoming effective on May 28.

Following months of consultation with like-minded countries across Europe and the Middle East, Ireland is making the announcement on the same day as Spain and Norway.

Taoiseach Simon Harris said: “Ireland recognises Palestine as a nation among nations with all the rights and responsibilities that entails.

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"Ireland has for many decades recognised the State of Israel and its right to exist in peace and security. We had hoped to recognise Palestine as part of a two-state peace deal but instead we recognise Palestine to keep the hope of that two-state solution alive.

Protestors carry flags and placards during a rally in Guildhall Square in January, calling for a ceasefire in Gaza. Photo: George SweeneyProtestors carry flags and placards during a rally in Guildhall Square in January, calling for a ceasefire in Gaza. Photo: George Sweeney
Protestors carry flags and placards during a rally in Guildhall Square in January, calling for a ceasefire in Gaza. Photo: George Sweeney

"Ireland’s dream is that the Israeli and Palestinian children of May 28 2024 will grow up to be neighbours at peace. Both the Palestinian and Israeli people are inherently kind and decent.

"The only way to stop war and death is by tapping into those qualities in both nations. We want to thank and are honoured to recognise Palestine at the same time as our friends in Spain and Norway. We are hopeful others will do the same in the next wave.”

Tánaiste Micheál Martin said the decision ‘is a historic moment for Ireland’.

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" It is our deeply-held belief that there can be no peace in the Middle East until the Israeli and Palestinian people alike enjoy the same rights to self-determination, statehood, peace, security and dignity.

"Recognition of Palestine is not the end of a process; it is the beginning. It is our conviction that the two-State solution remains the only viable option to secure a just and lasting peace, and a better future. I will also continue to work tirelessly on the immediate priority of securing a ceasefire in Gaza, the unconditional release of hostages, and full, safe and unhindered humanitarian access.“

Minister Eamon Ryan said: “Palestine has every right to be recognised internationally as a state and it is only right that Ireland should take this step. We hope that more countries will follow us in doing so.

" We also emphasise that today’s announcement does not in any way diminish our recognition of Israel’s right to exist. Instead, it should represent a first step towards the establishment of a two state solution, which represents both Israel and Palestine’s best hope for a peaceful future. While we work towards this goal, we must redouble our efforts to secure the immediate release of all hostages and the provision of humanitarian aid for all those whose lives have been destroyed by this terrible war.”

SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood MP welcomed the Irish Government’s formal recognition of Palestine as a stat.

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The SDLP Leader wrote to Britain’s Foreign Secretary this month ahead of a crucial United Nations General Assembly resolution recognising that Palestine meets the criteria for admission to the UN. He urged David Cameron to endorse the recognition of the state of Palestine as a necessary step toward a two-state solution.

Colum Eastwood MP said: “I welcome and strongly endorse the decision of the Irish Government to recognise the state of Palestine. Following an important vote by the United Nations General Assembly earlier in the month, this generates further momentum toward recognition of Palestine and a durable two-state solution to conflict in the region.

“A sustainable peace must begin with recognition of the legitimate aspirations and rights of both peoples in the eyes of the international community. A peace process, as far off as that may feel right now, will only succeed if the people of Israel and Palestine are equal partners. Today’s decision is an honest reflection of that unavoidable truth.

“I sincerely hope that this act of recognition will be followed in other capitals in the time ahead. The international community has been slow to address the horrors inflicted on the people of Gaza following the inhumanity of the Hamas attacks. Now is the time to escalate efforts for peace.”

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