Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said on Tuesday that the motion, brought forward by the opposition Sinn Fein party, “is a clear signal of the depth of sentiment across Ireland”.
“The scale, pace and strategic nature of Israel’s actions on settlement expansion and the intent behind it have brought us to a point where we need to be honest about what is really going on there. ground. … It’s a de facto annexation, ”Coveney, of the center-right Fine Gael party, told parliament.
“It’s not something that I, or in my opinion this house, say lightly. We are the first EU state to do so. But this reflects the huge concern we have about the intention of the actions and, of course, their impact, ”he said.
If passed, the amendment would force the government to expel Israel’s ambassador to Ireland and impose economic, political and cultural sanctions against Israel.
Most countries view the settlements that Israel built in territory captured in the 1967 war as illegal and as an obstacle to peace with the Palestinians.
Coveney, who has represented Ireland on the United Nations Security Council in debates over Israel in recent weeks, had insisted on adding a condemnation of the recent rocket attacks against Israel by the Palestinian group Hamas before accepting the support of the United Nations. government to the motion.
Some Irish parliamentarians wore masks bearing the Palestinian flag or the checkered keffiyeh pattern.
The left-wing Sinn Fein party refused to support the government’s amendment condemning the Hamas attacks.
– Abed🐺 #SaveSheikhJarrah (@Abd_HajYahia) May 25, 2021
The motion came days after a ceasefire ended 11 days of the worst fighting between Israel and Palestinian armed groups in years.
The violence sparked large pro-Palestinian protests in Dublin.
At least 253 Palestinians were killed, including 66 children, according to the Gaza health ministry, while around 2,000 were injured. At least 12 people have been killed in Israel.
The Irish parliament, or Dáil, is expected to debate the People Before Profit amendment to the Sinn Fein MPs’ motion on Wednesday, with a vote expected later.
Credit to @sinnfeinireland for bringing the motion forward, but saying that it received support from across the Dáil – left and right. There is a growing consensus that Israel should be held responsible for decades of occupation, dispossession and ethnic cleansing.
– Ronan Burtenshaw (@ronanburtenshaw) May 25, 2021
Some have welcomed Ireland’s decision on social media.
“Ireland became the first EU state to recognize Israel’s de facto annexation of Palestine in violation of international law,” tweeted Ronan Burtenshaw, editor of the British socialist magazine Tribune. “A milestone on the road to the isolation of an apartheid state as we did in the 1980s. Next stop: boycott, divestment and sanctions. “
John Brady, a politician from Sinn Fein, tweeted: “We have forced a massive change in the position of the Irish government. They said Israel had de facto annexed Palestinian land. Ireland is the first EU country to declare that Israel’s actions violate international law. There must be consequences for these #FreePalestine actions. “
Richard Boyd Barrett of People Before Profit called Wednesday’s upcoming vote “historic.”
More than 5,200 people have signed Barrett’s petition, which calls on the Irish government “to publicly declare that the State of Israel is guilty of war crimes.”