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Irish PM says Ireland ‘prepared to recognize Palestinian state,’ Israel taking ‘revenge’ in Gaza

Spain, Norway and Slovenia are working with Ireland to recognize ‘Palestine’

Simon Harris, in Athlone, Ireland, March 24, 2024 (Photo: REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne).

Ireland is working with other countries toward recognition of a Palestinian state, newly-confirmed Irish Prime Minister Simon Harris told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Tuesday.

“If you believe that a political solution must bring about a two-state solution, I think a very good starting point is recognizing that there are two states,” Harris said.

“We recognize, obviously, the State of Israel,” he added. “We recognize the right of Israel to live in peace and safety and security in that region, and we also believe that alongside a secure and safe Israel should be a secure, peaceful, and safe Palestine.”

The latest application for recognition of statehood by the Palestinian delegation at the United Nations didn’t receive a unanimous recommendation by the UN Security Council committee and is therefore unlikely to pass, according to reports on Wednesday.

Ireland has been extraordinarily critical of Israel since last October, and has recently coordinated with several other nations to bring about the long-sought recognition of a Palestinian state.

“Ireland is extraordinarily clear in its condemnation of Hamas…[and for] the right of Israel…to live in safety and security. But we also believe that reason has now been replaced by revenge,” Harris argued.

He added that Ireland also condemned Iran’s assault against Israel last Saturday while calling Israel to show restraint in its response.

After separate meetings with Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez last week, the leaders of both Ireland and Norway said they were moving closer to recognizing a Palestinian state.

Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store said his country “stands ready” to recognize Palestine together with “like-minded countries,” following a visit by Sánchez, who said he wants to recognize Palestine “as soon as possible.”

These comments follow an announcement by Spain, Ireland, Malta and Norway last month stating that they would work together toward the recognition when “the circumstances are right,” in a move “in the name of Middle East peace.”

Israel told the four European Union countries, committed to moving towards Palestinian recognition, that their initiative would amount to a “prize for terrorism” that would reduce the chances of a negotiated resolution to the generations-old conflict.

Following reports that the United States was weighing recognition of a Palestinian state to pressure Israel in the hostage release negotiations with Hamas, the Israeli government unanimously rejected unilateral recognition by other nations.

“Israel utterly rejects international diktats regarding a permanent settlement with the Palestinians. A settlement, if it is to be reached, will come about solely through direct negotiations between the parties, without preconditions,” the declaration read.

“Israel will continue to oppose unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state. Such recognition in the wake of the October 7th massacre would be a massive and unprecedented reward to terrorism and would prevent any future peace settlement.”

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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