Fianna Fáil to fast-track motion to recognise Palestinian statehood

Israel reported to be asking Trump to put pressure on Kenny to block move

Fianna Fáil is to fast-track a Dáil motion, which will almost certainly be passed, calling on the Government to recognise Palestinian statehood before Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s trip to the Washington for St Patrick’s Day.

The party is bringing forward its motion following reports that that Israeli embassy in Dublin asked the Jerusalem government to ask the Trump administration to pressure the Irish government against making such a move.

Fianna Fáil foreign affairs spokesman Darragh O’Brien said the party intended to bring its motion forward by a number of weeks, and table it before Mr Kenny travels to the US for St Patrick’s Day in order to make the Dáil’s position clear.

Mr O’Brien, a TD for Dublin Fingal, said every Opposition TD in the Dáil supported the motion, which means it will almost certainly pass, given the extreme minority nature of the Government.



The programme for government says the Fine Gael-Independent Coalition will “honour our commitment to recognise the state of Palestine”.

Mr O’Brien said eight EU countries had already recognised the Palestinian state, and called on the government to stand by its commitment.

It was reported in Haaretz, an Israeli newspaper, that Israel’s ambassador to Ireland, Zeev Boker, cabled a warning to the Israeli government this week that the Government will soon recognise Palestine as a state.

It reported that Mr Boker also proposed working to block the move by asking the US administration of President Trump to put pressure on Ireland, as well as having Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu call Taoiseach Enda Kenny to discuss the issue.

According to Hareetz, Mr Boker suggested that the Government would recognise Palestinian statehood.

The Israeli embassy in Dublin did not return requests for comment.

It is unlikely the Government will, however, take immediate action following the Fianna Fáil motion.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan said he is “actively keeping under consideration, on a continuous basis, the question of whether recognition by Ireland in the near future of a state of Palestine might be a helpful step in relation to the Middle East peace process”.

The Department of Foreign Affairs added: “The decision to recognise the state of Palestine is a matter for Government to consider on the recommendation of the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade. The Minister continues to engage closely with the Oireachtas on these issues.”