Tuesday 27 June 2017

Leak shows fears over Irish stance on Palestine

Fianna Fáil’s foreign affairs spokesman Darragh O’Brien Photocall Ireland
Fianna Fáil’s foreign affairs spokesman Darragh O’Brien Photocall Ireland
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

Israel is to begin a diplomatic campaign to try to dissuade the Irish Government from formally recognising Palestine as a state, according to a leaked cable.

Israeli ambassador Zeev Boker has warned his government it needs to ask the US to lean on Ireland to prevent the recognition being approved.

It is understood officials in Jerusalem have long feared Ireland could make such a move, but this has been heightened by Mr Boker's dispatch from Dublin last Tuesday. He wrote suggesting the Trump administration be asked to intervene and that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu call Taoiseach Enda Kenny to discuss the issue.

The Programme for Government, agreed last year by Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil, commits to honouring "our commitment to recognise the state of Palestine as part of a lasting settlement of the conflict".

In his memo, which has been reported by Israeli news site Haaretz, the ambassador says there is a hardening of views after Israel's decision to expand settlement construction and passage of the law allowing the expropriation of private Palestinian land. He noted that Fianna Fáil's foreign affairs spokesman Darragh O'Brien has become increasingly vocal on the issue and is likely to seek a Dáil vote calling for Palestine to be recognised.

"My patience with the Government on this is expended," Mr O'Brien said last night. The Dublin Fingal TD is to place a motion before the Dáil within the next month.

Irish Independent

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