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Israel Reacts Strongly to Ireland’s Recognition of Palestine

Dublin: Reacting strongly to Ireland’s official recognition of Palestine, Israel has announced it will recall its ambassadors from both Ireland and Norway. Israeli Foreign Affairs Minister Israel Katz made the announcement, with Israel’s ambassador to Ireland, Dana Erlich, criticising the move as a “gift to terrorism.” Erlich stated that Hamas, which welcomed Ireland’s decision, poses a continuous threat to Israeli civilians and soldiers.

Israel’s Stance and Concerns

Ambassador Erlich highlighted that Hamas has committed numerous attacks, including a significant assault on October 7, which resulted in the deaths of over 1,170 Israeli civilians and 279 soldiers. She emphasised that 252 hostages were taken during the incident, with 128 still held in Gaza and 38 killed. Israel has vowed to retaliate and destroy Hamas in response.

Ireland’s Historic Decision

Prime Minister Simon Harris, along with Deputy Prime Minister Micheál Martin and Green Leader Eamon Ryan, announced Ireland’s recognition of Palestine. This decision was echoed by Norway, with Spain set to make a similar announcement on May 28. Harris described the move as a historic and crucial step towards ensuring a peaceful and hopeful future for the Palestinian people.

Background and Legislative Context

Ireland’s Senate and Dáil had passed a bill to recognise Palestine in 2014, but its implementation was delayed pending coordination with other EU countries. Former Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, in a joint statement with Malta, Slovenia, and Spain in March, had indicated this direction. Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald reiterated the need for a robust peace process grounded in international law to ensure the creation of an independent Palestinian state and a secure Israel.

Ireland’s recognition of Palestine has sparked significant diplomatic tension with Israel, which views the decision as supportive of terrorism. Meanwhile, Irish leaders maintain that the move is a step towards peace and stability in the region.

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