Good reception in Tel Aviv: Baerbach wants to “pull out all the stops” for Gaza aid

A wonderful welcome in Tel Aviv
Beerbock wants to “pull out all the stops” for Gaza aid

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Germany is one of Israel's closest allies. Nevertheless, Foreign Minister Berbach draws attention to the dire situation of the people in the Gaza Strip and warns of an attack in Rafah. This is not what the Israeli government wants to hear. Accordingly, Barbock received a cold reception in Tel Aviv.

Considering the plight of Palestinian citizens in the Gaza Strip, Union Foreign Minister Annalena Beirbach wants to increase the flow of aid. “Given the suffering in Gaza, we can no longer afford to debate where the blockade is now and who is to blame,” Kerem Shalomil, a Green politician in Tel Aviv, said after a visit to the Israeli Gaza border.

She was told on both the Egyptian and Israeli sides, “Above all, reloading between trucks is a bottleneck, sometimes it's reloaded three times and inspected three times,” Baerbach said. So “we need a way to stop reloading these three times.” He will work to vastly expand the Jordanian concept of a small number of trucks being driven directly into Gaza and not reloaded at the border. Germany will “pull out all the stops to make sure this happens in the next few days”. Until now, trucks from Egypt or Jordan had to be reloaded onto Palestinian trucks and transported further by Palestinian drivers before entering Gaza.

Baerbach said he also made it clear to Israeli officials that together with the Netherlands, they would provide additional scanners that could carry out security checks. If required, European inspectors can also be provided. Germany is one of the largest donors of humanitarian goods.

Most of the aid did not reach the Gaza Strip

Unfortunately, most of the food aid funded by Germany through the World Food Program is in Jordan. “Now we have to do everything we can to make sure that these materials that are out there finally reach people,” Baerbach urged. Aid to the World Food Program has been increased by another 10 million euros.

Life for the hostages and their families has been “hell for five months,” Baerbach said. “The hostages must finally be freed.” At the same time, the humanitarian situation in Gaza is “hell”.

Katz: “We expect friends to strengthen us”

He continued his sixth visit to Israel after the terrorist attack by Islamist Hamas. In a closed-door meeting in Jerusalem, the current points of contention with the Israeli government were discussed in clear tones: the UN demand for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, the immediate release of all hostages and more aid to affected civilians. Baerbach may have also referred to his efforts to achieve a future two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians.

Given the difficult topics, the public greeting between Baerbaugh and Katz was cool, professional, and not too warm. There was the usual handshake and smile for the cameras. Baerbock and Katz did not make eye contact.

According to Katz, the UN calls for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. The Security Council's call emboldened Hamas and led it to reject a US compromise proposal on a new hostage deal. He told an Israeli military radio station that he was disappointed the US did not veto the resolution. “We expect friends to strengthen us in this difficult time, not weaken us against Hamas and other enemies,” Katz said.

Baerbock said he had agreed with Katz to send a delegation to Israel that would “discuss key issues of international humanitarian law with the Israeli government.” “Germany, a signatory to the Geneva Conventions, is obliged to remind all parties of their obligation to comply with international humanitarian law.”

Israeli settlement construction “impedes peace”

During his visit, the Union Foreign Minister demanded that the Palestinian Authority, which rules the West Bank, continue to reform itself with a future technical government. But she needs access to Gaza “and to be sure that Gaza and, above all, the West Bank are one.” In this context, Israeli settlement construction always opens up “new gaps and thus security threats.” Beerbock criticized: “It really prevents a two-state solution. It really prevents peace.” He continues to advocate for violent radical immigrants to face consequences.

According to media reports, Israel's Civil Administration has declared 800 hectares in the West Bank as Israeli government land. Among others, hundreds of squatter settlements are to be built in the area. Israeli settlements in the West Bank are illegal under international law. A two-state solution is an independent Palestinian state that coexists peacefully with Israel. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejects the two-state solution, as does Hamas.

After a meeting with his Egyptian counterpart Samih Shukri in the capital Cairo, Beirbach again publicly warned the Israeli government on Monday of a planned ground offensive in Rafah. In Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, an estimated half of the coastal enclave's 2.2 million residents are seeking refuge from fighting in a small area in the rest of Gaza. The military wants to bring civilians to safety on “humanitarian islands” in the Mediterranean, and also provide them with food and medical aid.

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