Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs & Trade Brendan Smith TD has requested time in the Dáil to discuss a motion calling on the Irish Government to recognise the State of Palestine.

Deputy Smith made the request during Order of Business in the Dáil following the passing of a motion in Seanad Éireann yesterday which calls on the Government to recognise the State of Palestine.  The motion was proposed by Fianna Fáil and agreed by the Seanad without a vote.

“I call on the Government to follow the lead of Sweden and the UK House of Commons and recognise the State of Palestine.  The recent war in Gaza and the unwillingness of the Israeli Government to engage in meaningful and constructive negotiations with the Palestinians has resulted in a mind shift in how best to approach the conflict in the Middle East”, said Deputy Smith.

“The recent conflict and the general lack of progress made in achieving the Two State solution has been deeply unsatisfactory and has resulted in continued instability in the region. The indiscriminate rocket attacks against the Israeli people by Hamas and the attack on UN schools and refugee camps by the Israeli Defence Forces were despicable acts which shocked the international community.

“These actions have added to the failure to bring peace to both Israelis and Palestinians.  Fianna Fáil believes the only way to help bring about a Two State solution now is to unilaterally recognise the Palestinian State. We hope this would act as an impetus for renewed peace talks”.