Ireland edges towards recognising Palestine despite Israel’s warning

Irish Cabinet ministers have been briefed on plans to recognise Palestinian statehood by the end of the month, as Israel warned that the announcement will “fuel extremism and instability”.

Irish and Spanish officials have been in discussions with other European countries about making a joint recognition of the state of Palestine.

The announcement is expected within the next 10 days.

Micheal Martin and Simon Harris
Micheal Martin and Simon Harris (Maxwell Photography/PA)

The leaders of the three coalition parties briefed Cabinet ministers on the latest stage of negotiations on Tuesday.

Irish premier Simon Harris and deputy premier Micheal Martin are involved in “ongoing co-ordination” with other European leaders about the announcement, a Government spokesman said.

The spokesman said that recognising Palestinian statehood has been a “foundation stone” of Irish foreign policy, adding that the Government believes in a two-state solution.

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.”