Social Democrats leader Holly Cairns has warmly welcomed the Government’s decision to recognise the State of Palestine but called for further pressure on Israel to end the carnage in Gaza.

“The Social Democrats have long called for the Government to match its strong words of condemnation with action – and this is a historic move which sends a powerful message.

“For an imprisoned Palestinian people being massacred by a barbaric occupier, that message is one of hope, peace, justice and freedom.

“The Irish people’s solidarity with the people of Palestine is unbreakable. It is long past time this solidarity was formally acknowledged by our Government with recognition of the State of Palestine – my only regret is that it did not happen sooner.

“The scale of death and devastation in Gaza is truly horrifying. It is shameful and shocking that so much of the western world has turned a blind eye to the atrocities being carried out against an entire population. Those same countries will criticise Ireland, Norway and Spain for the actions taken today – but their hollow criticisms will have no credibility.

“The Irish Government must now take the next step and enact diplomatic and economic sanctions against Israel. This should include passing the Occupied Territories Bill and the Illegal Israeli Settlement Divestments Bill, as well as committing to enforcing any International Criminal Court warrants issued against the Israeli and Hamas leadership.”

May 22, 2024

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