Irish Prime Minister Simon Harris
Irish Prime Minister Simon HarrisReuters/Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto

Israel is misrepresenting the views of Ireland, Irish Prime Minister Simon Harris said on Thursday, a day after the country announced its recognition of “the State of Palestine” in a joint move with Norway and Spain.

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

"Any foreign ministry can call in any ambassador, but what I will not tolerate is any country is representing the position of the Irish people. I am the leader of the Irish government, I speak on behalf of Ireland, and we have been clear and unequivocal that we condemn Hamas, that we condemn the most horrific, barbaric massacre that Israel experienced on October 7. We call for the unconditional and immediate release of all hostages," Harris said on Thursday, according to the dpa news agency.

"But it is entirely possible to say what I have just said and also say the next bit – which sadly some refuse to say – that what is happening in Palestine, what is happening in Gaza, is a humanitarian catastrophe ... This situation is not sustainable. It needs to stop," he added.

"Let me also say this to the people of Israel. The Irish people know what it's like to have their national identity hijacked by a terrorist organization. The IRA [Irish Republican Army] was never the people of Ireland, and Hamas is not the people of Palestine," said Harris.

Irish Foreign Minister Micheál Martin told CNN on Wednesday that 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 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.

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.