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28th May 2024

Simon Harris says recognising the State of Palestine is about ‘keeping hope alive’

Kat O'Connor

Simon Harris said the move keeps ‘the miracle of peace alive’

Simon Harris has spoken out after Ireland formally recognised the Palestinian state today.

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin sought Cabinet’s approval this morning.⁠

Last week, Simon Harris announced the move alongside Spain and Norway, confirming Ireland will have full diplomatic relations established between the two states.⁠

“On January 21 1919, Ireland asked the world to recognise our rights to be an independent state. Our message to the free nations of the world was a plea for international recognition of our independence, emphasising our distinct national identity, our historical struggle, and our rights to self-determination and justice. Today, we use the same language to support the recognition of Palestine as a state.”⁠

“We had wanted to recognise Palestine at the end of a peace process”

Speaking today, Harris said the move is all about keeping hope alive.

“This decision of Ireland is about keeping hope alive. It is about believing that a two-state solution is the only way for Israel and Palestine to live side by side in peace and security.

Harris explained: “We had wanted to recognise Palestine at the end of a peace process.

“However, we have made this move alongside Spain and Norway to keep the miracle of peace alive. I again call on Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel to listen to the world and stop the humanitarian catastrophe we are seeing in Gaza.”

Tánaiste Micheál Martin added: “Prospects for a lasting peace have never been more in peril and it is imperative we act now, alongside our likeminded partners, to protect the viability of a two-State solution and the equal rights of Palestinians and Israelis to self-determination, peace, security and dignity.’

Ambassador Dr. Jilan Wahba Abdalmajid said the recognition of the Palestinian state “gives hope”.⁠

“I am looking forward to seeing the flag flying on Leinster House. It’s a big moment,” she shared.