Ireland becomes first EU country to condemn Israel's "de facto annexation" of Palestine 4 weeks ago

Ireland becomes first EU country to condemn Israel's "de facto annexation" of Palestine

The Dáil also rejected a proposal from People Before Profit to expel the Israeli ambassador.

Ireland has become the first EU country to condemn Israel's "de facto annexation" of Palestinian land after a Sinn Féin motion was passed by the Dáil on Wednesday night.

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The Dáil also rejected a proposal from People Before Profit to expel the Israeli ambassador to the Republic and impose comprehensive sanctions against Israel by 87 votes to 46.

The Government had, in a debate on Tuesday night, supported the Sinn Féin proposal.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney said during a debate on the issue that what was happening in Palestine was “de facto annexation”.

He added that the Republic of Ireland is the first EU country to issue this message.

It was agreed during a cabinet meeting on Tuesday that the Sinn Féin proposal would be supported if a reference to violence “on all sides in the conflict” was added.

Coveney said it was “deeply troubling” that Sinn Féin refused to also condemn Palestine's militant group Hamas, however, during Tuesday's debate on the condemnation of “the killing of civilians by both sides in this conflict”, Sinn Féin accepted the amendment without a vote.

Israel and Hamas agreed to a ceasefire across the Gaza Strip border last week.

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Since the fighting began on 10 May, health officials in Gaza say 232 Palestinians, including 65 children and 39 women, have been killed.

More than 1,900 Palestinians have been wounded in aerial bombardments. Israel has said that it has killed at least 160 combatants in Gaza.

Meanwhile, authorities put the death toll in Israel at 12, including a five-year-old boy and a soldier.

The fighting was triggered by violence in Jerusalem and Israel has carried out hundreds of airstrikes across the blockaded territory, which is home to more than two million Palestinians.

A spokesperson for Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that Ireland's position was both "outrageous" and "baseless".

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"Israel outright rejects Ireland's outrageous and baseless position regarding Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria. This position reflects a blatantly one-sided and simplistic policy," a statement read.

"And, 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 today 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."