Reports: Ireland set to move on Palestinian recognition

Reports: Ireland set to move on Palestinian recognition
Reports: Ireland set to move on Palestinian recognition

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - Ireland’s government is expected today to move towards formally recognising a Palestinian state, media reports said. — AFP pic

LONDON, May 22 — Ireland’s government is expected today to move towards formally recognising a Palestinian state, media reports said.

The European Union member’s leaders were scheduled to hold a news conference at 8.00am after earlier signalling that Ireland would recognise Palestinian statehood by the end of the month.

National public broadcaster RTE and the Irish Times both reported that it was understood the decision to do so would be announced at the news conference.

The Israeli foreign ministry posted a video message addressed to Ireland on the social media platform X warning that “recognising a Palestinian state risks turning you into a pawn in the hands of Iran and Hamas”, adding the move would “only fuel extremism and instability”.

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The expected announcement by Irish premier Simon Harris, deputy premier Micheal Martin and minister Eamon Ryan comes after Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said last week that he would announce on Wednesday a date for recognising a Palestinian state.

Sanchez said in March that Spain and Ireland, along with Slovenia and Malta, had agreed to take their first steps towards recognition of a Palestinian state alongside Israel, seeing a two-state solution as essential for lasting peace.

Israel has said plans for Palestinian recognition constitute a “prize for terrorism” that would reduce the chances of a negotiated resolution to the war in Gaza, which began on October 7 when Hamas militants stormed into southern Israel.

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For decades, the formal recognition of a Palestinian state has been seen as the endgame of a peace process between Palestinians and their Israeli neighbours.

The United States and most Western European nations have said they are willing to one day recognise Palestinian statehood, but not before agreement is reached on thorny issues like final borders and the status of Jerusalem.

But after Hamas’ October 7 attacks and Israel’s retaliatory campaign in Gaza, diplomats are reconsidering once-contentious ideas.

In 2014, Sweden, which has a large Palestinian community, became the first EU member in western Europe to recognise Palestinian statehood.

It had earlier been recognised by six other European countries: Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Romania.

Hamas’s October 7 attack resulted in the deaths of more than 1,170 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli official figures.

Hamas also took 252 hostages, 124 of whom remain in Gaza including 37 the army says are dead.

Israel’s retaliatory offensive has killed at least 35,647 people in Gaza, also mostly civilians, according to the Hamas-run territory’s health ministry. — AFP

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