Irish Foreign Minister Micheal Martin
Irish Foreign Minister Micheal MartinReuters/PA Images

Ireland's decision to formally recognize a Palestinian state came amid "growing impatience" with Israel's lack of political will for a two-state solution, the country's Foreign Minister Micheál Martin told CNN on Wednesday.

"The integrity of that two-state solution has been undermined in recent years by the strategy of the Israeli government and, particularly, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has declared opposition to it," Martin charged.

He also claimed that Netanyahu "hasn't really dealt with the violent settlers" in Judea and Samaria.

"There is a growing impatience with the lack of any political will on behalf of Israel toward a political track and toward realizing that in our view, a two-state solution is the only way that Israelis and Palestinians can live in harmony side by side," he added. "There cannot just be a military solution to such a complex issue."

Martin acknowledged that within the European Union "there are different perspectives on this, some for historic reasons," but "there are a lot of like-minded states within the European Union that have been engaged on this issue."

His comments came after Ireland, alongside Norway and Spain, announced that their countries will formally recognize the Palestinian Authority as the “state of Palestine” as of May 28.

In response, Foreign Minister Israel Katz ordered the immediate return to Israel of the Israeli ambassadors to Norway and Ireland.

Wednesday’s announcement came after Ireland, Spain, Slovenia and Malta announced that they would jointly work toward the recognition of a Palestinian state, arguing a two-state solution is essential for lasting peace in the region.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) has long urged countries to recognize “Palestine” as a means of bypassing direct talks with Israel.

While several countries have recognized “Palestine” in recent years, those moves were symbolic ones that have little, if any, actual diplomatic effect.