Germany reiterates Israel’s right to self-defense, but warns of the need to protect the population

Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier reiterated Israel’s right to defense before traveling to Tel Aviv this Sunday on a solidarity visit, where Bundestag President Bärbel Bas will also be present.

“No one can deny Israel the right to effectively combat terror,” Steinmeier said in a video message before the trip.

However, Steinmeier also warned of the need to protect civilians and respect international humanitarian law.

“Measures to remove civilians from the line of fire are essential. Added to this is the need to provide basic goods. “This is something that international humanitarian law demands and that we in Germany also expect,” he explained.

Steinmeier said in the message that his visit was a sign of Germany’s solidarity with Israel.

“Not only solidarity with Israel as a victim of terrorism, but also with Israel defending itself,” he said.

Germany, said Steinmeier, is providing humanitarian aid to Gaza and wants to talk to the Israeli authorities during his visit about ways to deliver certain products during the pause in fighting.

“For us there is no discussion: every life is worth the same as the other. From a humanitarian perspective, we make no distinctions. Our solidarity goes out to all the victims of this war,” he said.

“But politically we have to differentiate, because the terror that Israel suffered on October 7 cannot be repeated,” he added.

The current lull in fighting, Steinmeier warned, does not automatically bring peace and peace cannot last as long as Hamas poses a threat to Israel.

“There is only one way out with a policy based on two principles: greater security for Israel and at the same time future prospects for the Palestinians,” he said.

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According to the Federal President, this forces a return to the two-state idea, although the history of this idea in recent years has been primarily one of missed opportunities.

Steinmeier, on the other hand, was “infinitely happy” about the release of some hostages and warned that the fighting could only stop when all the hostages had been freed.

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