Palestinian flag 311 AP.
(photo credit: Associated Press)
Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor slammed Ireland Tuesday for upgrading
the Palestinian delegation in Dublin to the status of a mission, saying the move
is consistent with the country’s “longtime” bias in the Middle East.
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Irish diplomatic source confirmed Dublin’s intention make the upgrade, but
stressed that contrary to some reports, the delegation would not be given the
status of an embassy.
Still, the source said the head of the delegation
will now be referred to as “ambassador- head of mission,” and will present
credentials to the country’s president.
The source said this move was in
step with what a number of other countries have done recently in the EU,
including Portugal, France and Spain.
He added that the upgrade is not a
precursor to recognizing a Palestinian state, and that according to Irish law,
states can only be recognized if they exist.
A number of EU countries are
expected to take similar steps in the coming weeks – but are unlikely to grant
recognition to a Palestinian state, according to EU officials.
said Israel regretted the decision, but was not stunned.
“It comes as no
surprise, as it is in line with Ireland’s longtime biased policy in the Middle
East,” he said.
Palmor added that the upgrade will only strengthen
Palestinian rejection of returning to direct dialogue and peace
The move came a day after Peru joined a growing list of South
American countries – including Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador, Bolivia and Chile –
in recognizing a Palestinian state.
However, the decision announced by
Peru’s foreign minister does not recognize the June 4, 1967, lines as the border
of the Palestinian state – with Peru (like Chile) saying the impasse must be
resolved between the sides.
Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon reacted
to both the Irish and Peruvian moves by saying they were “largely meaningless on
the ground,” but “destructive for negotiations.”
“[They] contribute to
the bubble of expectation that is growing among the Palestinian leadership,” he
“However, we all know that bubbles eventually burst, and it is
negligent to contribute to this unsustainable policy.
Every free gift the
Palestinians receive from the international community contributes to their
recalcitrance and maximalist strategy. We can see an obvious connection to the
recent spate of recognition and a hardening of the Palestinian
Ayalon added, “If the Palestinians would expend onetenth of
the effort towards meaningful negotiations that they use to push for largely
meaningless, one-sided declarations and political warfare in multilateral
forums, then we could have actually moved a long way in negotiations.”