Ireland says it is ready to recognise an independent Palestinian state

Ireland says it is ready to recognise an independent Palestinian state
"Be in no doubt a recognition of a Palestinian state will happen," Irish Foreign Minister Michael Martin said.
3 min read
10 April, 2024
Irish Foreign Minister Michael Martin said that discussions on recognising Palestinian statehood were taking place with other EU countries [Getty]

Ireland is ready to recognise the State of Palestine in the coming weeks, Ireland's deputy prime minister said on Tuesday.

Speaking to parliament after the appointment of new Prime Minister Simon Harris, Tánaiste (deputy prime minister) and Foreign Affairs Minister Michael Martin said that the Gaza war meant there was an urgent need to press forward with a new approach to Palestinian statehood.

He said that Ireland was discussing the issue with other countries, but was ready to act unilaterally.

"It is my intention to bring to government a formal proposal on recognition when these wider international discussions are complete," referring to conversations with other countries around peace processes for Gaza.

"But be in no doubt a recognition of a Palestinian state will happen," he said, which prompted a long round of applause by parliamentarians present in the Dáil, Ireland’s parliament.

Martin said he had visited Israel and the occupied West Bank several times since 7 October and has been in regular discussions with his counterparts on the subject.

While he condemned the surprise Hamas-led attacks of 7 October and the killing and kidnapping of Israeli citizens, he said he did not approve of Israel's ruthless response in Gaza.

Israeli forces have killed over 33,000 Palestinians and devastated entire neighbourhoods since the start of the war. 

He said he is "in no doubt that war crimes have been committed" and that he condemned "the ongoing bombardment of the Gazan people".

Israel has been repeatedly accused of committing war crimes in its indiscriminate war on Gaza.

It has bombed schools, homes, and residential areas and imposed a collective punishment on the population by cutting off access to water, food, electricity, and fuel supplies.

Three-quarters of Gaza's 2.3 million population have been forcibly displaced and are dependent on aid for survival.

Around 62 percent of all homes have been damaged or destroyed, according to a recent assessment carried out jointly by the World Bank, UN and EU.

Martin added that he has been engaged in ongoing discussions with ministerial colleagues in other countries about how a joint formal recognition of Palestinian statehood could be a catalyst to help the people of Gaza and the West Bank.

"We have agreed that the undermining of the Oslo Accords and therefore the agreement to create two states has reached a point where the Accords' approach of recognition after a final agreement is not credible or tenable any longer."

"I have discussed this with those in the region who are working on peace initiatives and co-ordination with other countries continues intensively."

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Ireland has been joined by Spain, Malta and Slovenia, who have said they will work together toward recognition of a Palestinian state. Israel criticised the EU countries claiming that such a move would be a "prize for terrorism".

Irish governments have long advocated for the recognition of an independent Palestinian state and there is widespread public backing for such a move.

Last month, Dublin announced it would officially support South Africa in its case against Israel at the International Court of Justice over its war on Gaza.