Taoiseach says Israeli ambassador's comments are attempt to distract from Rafah strikes

Taoiseach says Israeli ambassador's comments are attempt to distract from Rafah strikes
Palestinians react at the site of an Israeli strike on a camp for internally displaced people in Rafah on May 27, 2024, amid ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas militant group. (Photo by Eyad BABA / AFP) (Photo by EYAD BABA/AFP via Getty Images)

The Taoiseach has said the Israeli ambassador to Ireland is trying to distract from what is happening in Rafah after an Israeli airstrike killed 45 people.

Speaking in Jerusalem today, Dana Erlich warned Ireland's plan to recognise a Palestinian state sends the wrong message about Ireland as a tech hub.

She said it could lead to a crisis in bilateral ties as the plan is worrying Israeli investors in the IT services sector here.

However, Simon Harris says Ms Erlich is trying to distract after an Israeli airstrike in a tent camp in the Gaza city of Rafah.


"I think rather than anybody seeking to distract, I think what should concern the entire world today are the barbaric, horrific scenes that we saw last night in Rafah... where a displaced person centre was attacked.

"Imagine this, a place where parents bring their children for safety and security, a place that is meant to be some degree of refuge and safety at this most horrific time was attacked, was bombed, 45 people are dead."

Meanwhile, Tánaiste Micheál Martin has said sanctions against Israel should not be "off the table".

Ireland, Norway and Spain will formally recognise Palestinian statehood on Tuesday.


Speaking at a joint press conference in Brussels, Micheál Martin said the move was in search of a “fundamental paradigm shift” between a peaceful two-state solution to the conflict.

He added: “Some have framed our decision to recognise the state of Palestine as a move to impose an outcome on the parties or as somehow a reward for terror.

“Nothing could be further from the truth. We have recognised both the State of Israel and the state of Palestine precisely because we want to see a future of normalised relations between the two peoples.”

By James Cox