489. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Justice the reason the same visa free travel to Ireland afforded to Israeli citizens is not extended to Palestinian travellers given the need to end discrimination and mistreatment of Palestinians; if she will consider extending equal visa free travel to Palestinians; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32844/21]
Minister of State at the Department of Justice (Deputy James Browne): The requirements for individual countries that are visa-required to come to Ireland are kept under regular review in consultation with my colleague, the Minister for Foreign Affairs.
A wide range of factors are considered in determining which countries are visa required. In particular, the Government is pursuing a strategy of greater coordination and cooperation on visa matters with the United Kingdom in the context of the Common Travel Area (CTA), which has even greater importance post-Brexit. This is exemplified by the operation of the British Irish Visa Scheme in China and India, which allows for travel to and around Ireland and the UK on a single visa.
As part of this greater cooperation, the matter of alignment of those States whose citizens are visa-required is also being kept under review. The greater the extent of alignment between the two jurisdictions, the greater the opportunity to increase the number of tourist and business visits to the CTA.
At present, both Ireland and the UK (in common also with EU Member States in the Schengen Area) require citizens of Palestine to be in possession of a visa for travel to their jurisdictions. While there are no current plans to change this, any proposals for change would also need to be considered in this context.