Uptade Blinken says Israel needs a clear and concrete plan for Gaza’s future

DUBLIN: Ireland is certain to recognize Palestinian statehood by the end of May, the country’s Foreign Minister Micheal Martin said on Wednesday, without specifying a date.
“We will be recognizing the state of Palestine before the end of the month,” Martin, who is also Ireland’s deputy prime minister, told the Newstalk radio station.
In March the leaders of Spain, Ireland, Slovenia and Malta said in a joint statement that they stand ready to recognize Palestinian statehood.
Ireland has long said it has no objection in principle to officially recognizing the Palestinian state if it could help the peace process in the Middle East.
But Israel’s war against Hamas militants in Gaza has given the issue new impetus.
Last week, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said Spain, Ireland and Slovenia planned to symbolically recognize a Palestinian state on May 21, with others potentially following suit.
But Martin on Wednesday shied away from pinpointing a date.
“The specific date is still fluid because we’re still in discussions with some countries in respect of a joint recognition of a Palestinian state,” he said.
“It will become clear in the next few days as to the specific date but it certainly will be before the end of this month.
“I will look forward to consultations today with some foreign ministers in respect of the final specific detail of this.”
Last month during a visit to Dublin by Spanish premier Pedro Sanchez, Irish prime minister Simon Harris said the countries would coordinate the move together.
“When we move forward, we would like to do so with as many others as possible to lend weight to the decision and to send the strongest message,” said Harris.
Harris’s office said Wednesday that he updated King Abdullah II of Jordan by telephone on Ireland’s plan for statehood recognition.
Harris “outlined Ireland and Spain’s ongoing efforts on Palestinian recognition and ongoing discussions with other like-minded countries,” a statement read.
“The King and the Taoiseach (prime minister) agreed that both Ireland and Jordan should stay in touch in the coming days,” it added.
The conflict in Gaza followed Hamas’s unprecedented October 7 attack against Israel, which resulted in the deaths of more than 1,170 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally of official Israeli figures.
Militants also seized about 250 hostages, 128 of whom Israel estimates remain in Gaza, including 36 the military says are dead.
Israel’s retaliatory offensive has killed more than 35,000 people in Gaza, mostly women and children, according to the Hamas-run territory’s health ministry.

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