Palestine’s ambassador to Ireland has said she is looking forward to seeing their flag flown over Leinster House on Tuesday.

The formal recognition of the Palestinian state by Ireland, along with Spain and Norway, culminates months of diplomatic efforts by Irish officials.

Dr Jilan Wahba Abdalmajid said it was “a very special day” when Irish premier Simon Harris announced Ireland recognises the state of Palestine.

She said: “I know that with all that’s going on with Palestine and against the Palestinian people, we felt it’s a light out of this dark tunnel.

“It gives hope. I’m really proud of being a representative of the Palestinian people here in Ireland.”

But she said the feeling is bittersweet: “It’s not easy to feel this happiness while thousands of people are killed on a daily basis and Israel is becoming even more vicious.”

Israel-Hamas conflict
The Palestinian ambassador to Ireland, Dr Jilan Abdalmajid (Niall Carson/PA)

The Palestinian Mission in Ireland is to be upgraded to an embassy as part of the move, and an Ambassador from Palestine to Ireland will be appointed.

Ireland will also upgrade its Representative Office of Ireland in Ramallah to an embassy, and redesignate the Irish Representative to Palestine as the Ambassador of Ireland to the State of Palestine.

In response to Ireland’s announcement on Wednesday that it recognises the state of Palestine, the Israeli foreign affairs ministry reprimanded Ireland’s ambassador to Israel Sonya McGuinness, along with the Spanish and Norwegian ambassadors.

As part of the “severe demarche”, the ambassadors were shown footage that Israel claimed was filmed on October 7 while the Israeli national media was present.

Ireland’s deputy premier Micheal Martin said that the presence of the national media was not something they had “witnessed before in other countries or jurisdictions”.

Dr Abdalmajid said she knows “it’s not easy for Ireland to take that decision” but said it was “the right time” to recognise a Palestinian state.

She said that the more countries that recognise Palestine as a state, the more pressure is put on Israel to stop its military offensive in Gaza, which the ambassador called “the annihilation of a people”.

“I am looking forward to seeing the flag flying on Leinster House,” Dr Abdalmajid said, adding that Leinster House is representative of the people of Ireland. “It’s a big moment.”

She said she agrees with Mr Martin when he said the move would give strength to and “encourage peace lovers” and said “of course not” when asked about Israeli government’s claim that it “rewarded” terrorism.

She said that Palestine agreed to the Oslo accords but in the past 29 years “Israel exerted every effort to weaken the Palestinian Authority in every aspect”.

“The far right brought Israel to a very critical situation internationally. These far-right governments shouldn’t be given the right to control moderate Israelis who believe and think of peace.”