Palestinian embassy to open in Dublin as Ireland and Palestine exchange diplomatic recognition


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The Irish Government confirmed its decision to formally recognize the state of Palestine yesterday, joining Norway and Spain in this diplomatic step. The official process is scheduled to commence next week.

Dublin’s acknowledgment of Palestine will be accompanied by the establishment of a new Palestinian embassy, expanding the current mission office into a full diplomatic representation. Similarly, Ramallah’s Irish representative office will elevate to embassy status. Feilim McLaughlin, currently the Irish ambassador to Palestine, will take over the Irish embassy in Ramallah.

The logistical challenge of potentially requiring larger premises for the Palestinian embassy’s staffing needs is under consideration, prompting contemplation over whether the embassy expansion will take place in Ramallah or another city in the West Bank.

Anticipating potential reactions from Israel, the Department of Foreign Affairs has initiated contingency planning. Israel has previously expressed its disapproval of countries recognizing Palestine and issued warnings of consequences.

Israel Katz, the foreign affairs minister based in Tel Aviv, stated that he issued a “strong demarche” to the ambassadors of Ireland, Spain, and Norway in Israel. Part of the political communication stated they were to watch a video depicting the kidnapping of Israeli women by Hamas terrorists.

Hamas is not the Palestinian people and that’s a really important point of differentiation

Simon Harris

Diplomatic dynamics

Taoiseach Simon Harris emphasized that Ireland’s recognition of Palestine would have a profound impact, stating the country’s commitment to aligning with the right side of history. He reiterated the urgent need for an immediate ceasefire and cessation of violence, highlighting Ireland’s efforts to actively support and propel the peace process forward.

He emphasized a clear distinction between Hamas and the Palestinian people, a sentiment echoing across diplomatic channels.

“This humanitarian catastrophe needs to end. The only way you end conflict, ultimately, is through a political process,” he stated.

Following Ireland’s pronouncement, Israeli ambassador Dana Erlich found it necessary to return to her homeland for discussions.

“I was asked by the minister to return immediately to Israel in order to discuss the next possible steps. When I came here eight or nine months ago, I saw the potential for collaboration between Israel and Ireland,” she explained. “There are so many things we can do together, and I still hope that we will be able to do so in the future.”

She also voiced her concerns over Ireland’s decision and reiterated her intent to continue her diplomatic efforts in Dublin.

“We need to address our concerns about the anti-Israeli initiatives that are promoted here in Ireland. Antisemitism that is on the rise needs to be addressed and acknowledged,” Erlich noted.

On her views on Ireland’s decision to recognize the state of Palestine, she had this to say:

“You can oppose our policies, you can oppose actions, but I do not understand how this benefits the lives of Palestinians living in Gaza under Hamas rule. When they wake up in the morning, how does this improve their life?”

Navigating diplomacy

The Department of Foreign Affairs thoroughly assessed the potential consequences for both the Irish ambassador in Israel and the Israeli ambassador in Dublin. Citing Sweden’s recognition of Palestine in 2014 as a precedent, officials noted a prolonged absence of political visits and  obstacles when it comes to access to Gaza.

Despite significant disagreements with Israel, the Irish Government remains steadfast in its commitment to keeping diplomatic channels open. In a historic move, it has recognized the state of Palestine within the 1967 borders, which includes Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem.

Although the Palestinian Authority is acknowledged as the governing body, its control over Gaza is limited, and Hamas continues to be classified as a terrorist organization by Ireland.

In a show of solidarity, Slovenia is set to join Ireland in recognizing Palestine on June 13th.

The opening of the Palestinian embassy in Dublin marks an important milestone in diplomatic relations between Ireland and Palestine. This recognition strengthens ties between the two nations and opens doors for further collaboration on various issues, including culture, education, and economic development.

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