Ireland: leading Europe in supporting peace
Ireland was the first European Union Member State to declare that a solution to the conflict in the Middle East had to be based on a fully sovereign Palestinian State, independent of and co-existing with Israel. That was in 1980, in a joint declaration by the Foreign Ministers of Ireland and Bahrain.
Since then, every Irish Government has given a high priority to the achievement of a two-state solution, which is now the accepted goal of all international efforts. The Middle East Peace Process remains a key foreign policy priority for the Government. Along with our EU partners, Ireland supports all efforts to restart comprehensive negotiations for an overall peace agreement.
Human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory
Reaching a final agreement to resolve the conflict will pose very real difficulties for both Israelis and Palestinians. However, we are especially conscious that while talks remain frozen with no real progress evident, ongoing Israeli policies on the ground in the occupied Palestinian territory are making peace more and more difficult to achieve.
Therefore, Ireland has for many years focused in particular on the injustices and infringements of human rights suffered by Palestinians as a result of the Israeli occupation. These include the seizure of land for Israeli settlements, evictions of families, destruction of homes and farm buildings, of wells and water tanks, and of trees and crops, as well as movement restrictions and unequal treatment.
We believe that these critical issues cannot wait for an overall peace agreement, and action must be taken to ensure that the viability of a two-state solution is maintained.
A focus on the situation on the ground
Minister Simon Coveney meeting with Palestine refugee students at theUNRWA School in Jabalia Refugee Camp, Gaza. Photo: Khalil Adwan/ UNRWA
Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney has visited Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory five times since taking up his role. With the viability of the two-state solution jeopardised by developments on the ground, Minister Coveney has been to the fore in calling for a resumption of purposeful negotiations aimed at the achievement of the two-state solution and, in the meantime, ensuring the viability of a future Palestinian State.
Ireland’s consistent support for the search for peace in the Middle East, and the achievement of a Palestinian State, has been demonstrated by our positions at the United Nations Security Council during our two-year tenure on the Council from 2021-2022, as well as at the UN General Assembly, at the UN Human Rights Council, and elsewhere.