ISRAEL HAS 'rejected' Ireland's declaration that its settlement programme amounts to de facto annexation.
Yesterday, the Dáil voted on a motion which declared that the Israeli settlement in Palestinian territory was an annexation, becoming the first EU country to do so.
It follows a period of intense violence in the region with 262 people killed in Palestine, including 65 children over a period of 11 days, as well as 12 people including two children, in Israel.
Sinn Féin foreign affairs spokesperson John Brady put forward a cross-party motion in the Dáil to recognise “that the crime of de facto annexation is taking place in the occupied Palestinian territories”, and assert that “Israel is acting illegally under international law”.
An amendment to the motion also condemned the rocket attacks launched by Hamas on Israel.
Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney, described the “scale, pace and strategic nature” of Israel’s settlement action as tantamount to ‘de facto annexation’, adding "this is not something we say lightly".
He told the Dáil that a return to "business as usual" and the expansion of illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory cannot be accepted.
Now the Israeli Foreign Ministry has criticised Ireland for the motion, stating that it "outright rejects Ireland's outrageous and baseless position regarding Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria."
In a statement, the Ministry condemned Ireland's motion as reflecting " a blatantly one-sided and simplistic policy".
They continued that the motion "follows the unacceptable anti-Israel statements that were heard in Ireland at a time when the citizens of Israel were being subject to terror attacks by the more than 4,000 rockets that were launched from the Gaza Strip by the Hamas terrorist organization.
"The motion that was adopted in the Irish parliament constitutes a victory for extremist Palestinian factions. This motion distances Ireland from its ambition to contribute and play a constructive role in the Israeli-Palestinian context."