Tánaiste Micheál Martin. RollingNews.ie.

Martin in Middle East Visit

Tánaiste Micheál Martin has begun a five-day visit to the Middle East where he will hold a series of high-level meetings with the region’s leaders.

Flying out on Monday, Mr. Martin will begin his visit in Israel, before moving on to the occupied Palestinian territory and then on to Jordan.

In Israel, the Tánaiste plans to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Isaac Herzog and Foreign Minister Eli Cohen.

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President Herzog is the son of the late Chaim Herzog, who also served as president. Chaim Herzog was born in Belfast and primarily raised in Dublin. 

He will meet with President Mahmoud Abbas in the occupied Palestinian territory, before traveling to Jordan where engagements will include a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister & Foreign Minister HE Ayman Safadi.

He will also engage in a series of meetings with United Nations and civil society partners providing support to people in the region.

The Tánaiste’s visit comes after an escalation in violence over the summer. According to the UN, between June 27 and July 24 this year 25 Palestinians, including five children, were killed and 249 Palestinians were injured by Israeli security forces, while two Israel soldiers were killed and another 39 injured during Israeli incursions into the West Bank, including the attack on the Jenin refugee camp.

Speaking ahead of his visit Martin said: “This visit is an important opportunity to see the political, security and human rights situation in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory.

“There has been a worrying escalation in violence over recent months. Ireland has been consistent in its calls for the protection of civilians and the application of international law. This visit will allow the opportunity to discuss directly these issues with political leaders, as well as with Ireland’s civil society partners.

“The visit will be my first to Jordan since the opening of Ireland’s Embassy in Amman and I am looking forward to seeing the strengthened bilateral relationship between us, including Ireland’s support for the Jordan Young Scientist Programme and other innovation initiatives. J

"Jordan also hosts a significant number of refugees from Syria, Palestine and elsewhere. I will meet with refugee families and UN partners and reiterate Ireland’s continuing support.”

In December last year Private Seán Rooney, 23, who was serving with a UN peacekeeping force was shot dead in south Lebanon. 133 Irish soldiers will be heading to the Golan Heights in Syria this month on peacekeeping duties.