Middle East

Germany's Baerbock says Jewish settlers' West Bank attacks must stop

24.11.2023, 15:07

Germany's Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has emphasised Israel's right to self-defence late on Thursday evening at the federal Green Party conference in Karlsruhe in south-western Germany.

Israel had the right and the duty under international humanitarian law to defend its citizens, Baerbock said, adding that Israel will never be able to live in security "if this terror is not combated." But she emphasized that the country was fighting against Hamas and not against the Palestinians.

"Even before the current war, life in Gaza was characterized by poverty and a lack of prospects," Baerbock said. "The inhumane rule of Hamas was primarily responsible for this. The policies of various Egyptian and Israeli governments have also hampered Gaza's economic development."

"In the medium and long term, both political and economic prospects are needed for the Gaza Strip in order to create sustainable humane living conditions," Baerbock said.

"After the end of the conflict, we are in favour of an end to the policy of sealing off the Gaza Strip, while at the same time safeguarding Israeli security interests. We call for coordinated reconstruction aid for the Gaza Strip Gaza Strip, in which the EU should also participate."

The German minister advocated the revival of a two-state solution respecting the 1967 borders.

"We reject the ongoing Israeli settlement construction, plans for annexation in violation of international law and settler violence against Palestinians in the West Bank as obstacles to peace. International humanitarian law must be respected everywhere," she said.

The violence of Jewish settlers in the West Bank was not in Israel's security interests, Baerbock said. She also warned of wider consequences of the conflict.

"I believe it is our task to prevent precisely that - a regional conflagration and deepening international rifts," she said.