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Ireland ‘should have already’ recognised Palestine

Ireland should have already recognised Palestine, its ambassador in Dublin has said.

Dr Jilan Wahba Abdalmajid welcomed comments from Tánaiste Micheál Martin that Ireland will formally recognise Palestinian statehood, but said it should have already happened.

Yesterday, Mr Martin said he is bringing a formal proposal to the Government after working with other countries on a joint declaration.

He said: “For the past six months, I’ve maintained ongoing discussions with ministerial colleagues and other countries about how a joint formal recognition of Palestinian statehood could be a catalyst to help the people of Gaza and the West Bank, and in furthering an Arab-led peace initiative.

“We’ve agreed that the undermining of the Oslo Accords, and therefore the agreement to create two states, has reached the point where the accords’ approach with recognition after a final agreement is not credible or tenable any longer.

“I’ve discussed this with those in the region who are working on peace initiatives and co-ordination with other countries continues intensively.

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“We’ve discussed this between the Government parties and it is my intention to bring to Government a formal proposal on recognition when these wider international discussions are complete.”

Mr Martin added: “But be in no doubt, recognition of a Palestinian state will happen.”

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, the ambassador welcomed the comments.

“I hope that this recognition by Ireland will be a reality soon, and Ireland will lead other EU states to follow suit,” she said.

“Ireland has always stood on the right side of history, justice, humanity international law – so I expected that Ireland will lead in the recognition of the State of Palestine.”

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However, asked whether Ireland should have moved to recognise Palestine a long time ago, the ambassador said: “Yes.”

She said the right to a Palestinian state is an entitlement that arose from the 1947 Partition Plan which also led to the creation of Israel.

“The Palestinians deserve this. In 1947, when the Partition Plan gives these rights to the Israelis and the Palestinians – to the Arabs who live in Palestine, the homeland of the Palestinians…

“(To give recognition) is not helping the Palestinians – it’s something that they have the right to.”

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Dr Wahba Abdalmajid added: “The whole world – the international community – should acknowledge and recognise the rights of the Palestinians who have their own free state of Palestine.”

The events of 7 October did not happen out of thin air, she said, but the root causes were denying the rights of Palestinians for so long.

As long as these rights are denied, the conflict will continue, she said, and this will not be good for international security.

“The root causes of this problem is denying the rights of the Palestinians. So long as the whole world and Israel deny the rights of the Palestinian, this area, this region will continue to be flaming and I don’t think that international stability, stability would be good. It’s a central area in this world. It’s important to recognise the rights of the Palestinians, to have peace in that region.”

Dr Wahba Abdalmajid said Palestinians are fighting for their freedom and if this right is respected then Palestinians will not think of “anything other than peace”.

She said that she believes Hamas would cease its campaign under those conditions.

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