Irish parliament building
Irish parliament buildingiStock

Ireland’s government on Tuesday supported a parliamentary motion condemning the “de facto annexation of Palestinian land by Israel”, Reuters reported.

Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney, who has represented Ireland on the United Nations Security Council in debates on Israel in recent weeks, supported the motion, and condemned what he described as Israel’s “manifestly unequal” treatment of Palestinian Arabs.

At the same time, he also insisted on adding a condemnation of recent rocket attacks on Israel by the Hamas terrorist organization before he agreed to government support for the motion, which had been tabled by the opposition Sinn Fein party.

“The scale, pace and strategic nature of Israel’s actions on settlement expansion and the intent behind it have brought us to a point where we need to be honest about what is actually happening on the ground. … It is de facto annexation,” Coveney was quoted as having told parliament.

On Hamas, he said, “The acts of terror by Hamas and other militant groups in firing rockets indiscriminately into Israel… cannot and should not ever be justified.”

Reuters noted that Sinn Fein refused to support the government amendment condemning Hamas attacks.

The Israeli government two weeks ago summoned Ireland’s ambassador after Coveney publicly condemned Israel’s counter-terror operations in the Gaza Strip.

Coveney had decried Israel’s air campaign against terrorists in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip as “brutal”, and said Israel “should be condemned”.

Ireland has taken anti-Israel actions in the past. In 2019, the Irish parliament approved a law promoting a boycott of Judea and Samaria products.

In 2014, Irish lawmakers approved a non-binding symbolic motion urging their government to recognize “Palestine” as a state.

In 2018, Coveney said Ireland may recognize a Palestinian state if peace talks with Israel aimed at producing a two-state solution continue to stagnate.