President of Palestine thanks Ireland for formal recognition of nation as an independent state

President of Palestine thanks Ireland for formal recognition of nation as an independent state

TAOISEACH Simon Harris has taken a phone call with President of Palestine, Mahmoud Abbas, following Ireland’s recognition of the state of Palestine.

Speaking last night, the Taoiseach told the President that he, on behalf of the people of Ireland, was “recognising Palestine to keep the hopes of a two-state peace solution between Israel and Palestine alive”.

President Abbas told the Taoiseach that Ireland’s recognition of the state of Palestine was a “beacon of hope to the Palestinian people”, Ms Harris’s department confirmed this morning.

President of Palestine Mahmoud Abbas

The President went on to thank Ireland, Spain and Norway for their support, after the two European countries following Ireland in their historic move.

“The Taoiseach told President Abbas that Hamas is a brutal terrorist organisation and he utterly condemned the barbaric attack on Israel on October 7 last,” his office confirmed.

President Abbas “seconded the Taoiseach’s statement that Israel had the right to exist in peace and security with its neighbours”, Mr Harris’s office confirmed.

Taoiseach Simon Harris, centre, with Minister Eamon Ryan, left, and Tánaiste Micheál Martin, right, at government buildings announcing that Ireland will officially recognise the state of Palestine

The two spoke about “hopes for a lasting ceasefire and an end to the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza” before their call came to a close.

Yesterday, following the announcement that Ireland would formally recognise the state of Palestine, Mr Harris said he was "confident that further countries will join us in taking this important step in the coming weeks".

He said that a two-state solution, where independent Israeli and Palestinian states would exist side-by-side, was the "the only credible path to peace and security”.

Referencing the foundation of the Irish state, Mr Harris said “from our own history we know what it means, recognition is an act of powerful political and symbolic value”.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met with Ireland's Foreign Minister Micheal Martin in Ramallah, on the West Bank, in September 2023

"This is an historic and an important day for Ireland and for Palestine," he said.

"On the 21st of January 1919 Ireland asked the world to recognise our right to be an independent State.

"Our 'Message to the Free Nations of the World' was a plea for international recognition of our independence, emphasising our distinct national identity, our historical struggle, and our right to self-determination and justice.

"Today we use the same language to support the recognition of Palestine as a State.”

The conflict in the Middle East erupted when Palestinian militant group Hamas launched an unprecedented assault on Israel on October 7, 2023.

About 1,200 people were killed, and more than 250 hostages were taken to Gaza, according to Israeli figures.

Israel launched a military response to the attack, which continues to this day, which has seen more than 35,000 Palestinians in Gaza killed, according to Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry’s figures.