The Irish government has accepted a motion to recognize Palestine as an independent state.
The private member's motion put forward by the Irish republican party Sinn Fein Tuesday night is expected to be debated and passed late Wednesday. According to Minister of State for European Affairs Dara Murphy, the move is consistent with government policy,
“It has been the objective of this government since it took office to work to bring about the achievement, in concrete reality and not just in theory or symbolism, of a fully sovereign state of Palestine,” said Murphy.
Many developing countries, as well as Sweden, have already recognized the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, while the UK, France and Spain have passed symbolic motions.
Others still support the idea of Palestinian leaders negotiating with Israel, though Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government has found itself increasingly isolated and criticized, even by long-time supporter the United States, for its controversial housing plans.
Irish opposition leader Gerry Adams, who was recently barred by Israel from entering the Gaza Strip due to what the Israeli authorities called “his longstanding anti-Israeli positions,” underlined the progress that the development could bring to the region.
“This is a substantial and positive development, which means that Ireland is now a significant part of the consensus for peace and progress in the Middle East,” said Adams.
“I have long argued, as a colonized people with a history of resistance and a peace process, we could play a leadership role in the search for peace in that region,” he added, before calling on other governments to implement similar motions. “There is an onus on the international community to provide meaningful leadership.”
On Wednesday, Palestinian minister Ziad Abu Ein died after clashes with Israeli police.
After a brief cease-fire following a prolonged conflict this year, violence has been escalating in the region in recent months.