Ireland to officially recognise state of Palestine

Ireland will officially recognise the state of Palestine tomorrow morning, and will be joined by two other EU states.

The Government has flagged its intention to recognise Palestine as a state this month amid unprecedented attacks in the Gaza Strip by the Israel Defence Forces.

Former taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Spanish prime minister Pedro Sanchez raised questions months ago about EU trade deals with Israel while the war in Gaza continued.

Mr Varadkar’s successor, Simon Harris, has spoken to Mr Sanchez about Ireland and Spain recognising Palestine as a state.

Norway, Malta and Slovenia have also signalled that they are considering giving full state status to Palestine.

It is understood two other EU states will recognise Palestine as a state tomorrow morning.

Other like-minded countries are expected to follow in Ireland’s footsteps in the coming weeks but the Government has decided now is the time for Ireland to recognise Palestine.

The Coalition is facing into local and European elections in just over three weeks.

The move comes after the International Criminal Court issued arrest warrants for Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and senior members of Hamas.

Meanwhile, in a online video targeted at Ireland, Israel’s foreign ministry warned that recognising a Palestinian state “will lead to more terrorism” and “jeopardise any prospects for peace”.

The narrator says: “Ireland, the possibility of recognising a Palestinian state risks turning you into a pawn in the hands of Iran and Hamas.

“Such a move will only strengthen Hamas and weaken an already dysfunctional Palestinian authority.

“The fact that Hamas leaders are thanking you should serve as wake-up call.

“Your actions will only fuel extremism and instability.

“Progress can only be achieved through direct negotiations within a wider regional context.

“Don’t be pawns in the hands of Hamas. Say no to recognition.”

Get ahead of the day with the morning headlines at 7.30am and Fionnán Sheahan's exclusive take on the day's news every afternoon, with our free daily newsletter.

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