Ireland's government appears to be mulling a push to get EU member countries to recognise the state of Palestine. (Thierry Monasse/Getty Images)


Ireland mulls pushing EU nations to recognise Palestine


Ireland’s Government is considering a push to get European Union Member States to recognise Palestine and may even “go solo” over the issue.

Speaking in the Irish Parliament, Tánaiste (deputy Prime Minister) Micheál Martin said the country remained committed to recognising “a state of Palestine” and was ready to do so almost immediately if his government decided that would have a positive impact.

“We could go solo and do it next week or next year, but what impact would that have?” he asked. “That is a serious question which we must ask.”

Martin went on to posit that Ireland may be better off urging “significant EU Member states” to recognise Palestine, with the aim of building international support.

“If we join forces and collectively recognise the state of Palestine, [we] would be far more impactful than one country going it alone,” he said.

He added that Ireland had been putting pressure on Josep Borrell, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, for the bloc to establish a “much stronger relationship” with Palestinian authorities.

The Irish push comes amid a flare-up of violence in the Palestine region, with Israeli military operations in the Palestinian city of Jenin prompting retaliatory attacks from locals, alongside condemnation from the United Nations.

Many in the Irish Parliament appeared quick to place the blame for the violence on Israel.

The parliamentary discussion was attended by Palestine’s ambassador to Ireland, Jilan Wahba Abdalmajid, who was greeted with applause as he was introduced by the house speaker.

EU attitudes have broadly been more subdued on the issue, with the European Commission refusing to take any strong position.

During a press conference on July 7, EC spokesman Peter Stano condemned what he called a “cycle of violence” in the region that has continued despite international pleas for peace.

He went on to call for a “political process” between Israelis and Palestinians, which he said could help put an end to such recent  “unfortunate developments”.