Recognition of Palestine aims to create momentum towards peace, says Taoiseach

Ireland’s recognition of the state of Palestine aims to create a “momentum towards a peace process” with Israel, Taoiseach Simon Harris has said.

On Wednesday, Ireland announced its recognition of the state of Palestine in a joint move with Norway and Spain.

The decision is to formally take effect in the three countries next Tuesday, May 28.

In response, Israel warned there will be “severe consequences”.

But in a series of social media posts, Israel’s foreign affairs minister Israel Katz claimed Ireland has “rewarded terrorism”.

Mr Katz recalled Israel’s ambassador in Dublin, Dana Erlich, and ordered a formal reprimand, or “severe demarche”, for the ambassadors for Ireland, Norway and Spain.

He said during the “demarche”, the ambassadors will have to watch videos of Hamas carrying out kidnappings.

Mr Harris was on Thursday asked about the warnings issued by the Israeli.

Israel-Hamas conflict
The three Irish Government leaders, Eamon Ryan, left, Simon Harris, centre, and Micheal Martin, announced the move on Wednesday (PA)

“We exchanged views and I outlined the Irish position, so I don’t think anyone in the world, least of all Israel, would have been surprised by the decision that Ireland, Norway and Spain took yesterday.

“I fundamentally believe that it is the right decision. It is an effort to try and create momentum towards a peace process that may seem far away but is absolutely and essentially needed.

“A two-state solution is the only way to bring peace and stability to the people of Israel and the people of Palestine.

“I would say very clearly to the Israeli Government, we very much recognise the state of Israel, its right to live in peace and security, but you can absolutely say that and also say the next bit – that the people of Palestine have a right to live in peace and security and the humanitarian catastrophe that’s unfolding in Palestine, in Gaza, needs to end.”

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