Politics, Middle East, Europe

Berlin calls on Israel, Palestinians to defuse tensions

German Foreign Ministry urges both sides to show 'readiness for dialogue' in effort to de-escalate situation

Oliver Towfigh Nia  | 30.01.2023 - Update : 30.01.2023
Berlin calls on Israel, Palestinians to defuse tensions


Germany on Monday called for the immediate de-escalation of spiraling Israel-Palestine tensions following deadly attacks on both sides.

"We view the situation with great concern. It really is a matter of doing everything we can to defuse this precarious, this tense situation,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Andrea Sasse told journalists in Berlin.

She urged both parties to show “a readiness for dialogue” to help de-escalate the situation.

Seven Israeli settlers were reportedly killed in a gun attack near a synagogue in occupied East Jerusalem on Friday, while at least two more were injured in another shooting on Saturday.

The attacks came after the Israeli military killed nine Palestinians and wounded dozens in an operation in the occupied West Bank town of Jenin on Thursday.

Sasse also criticized the new Israeli administration, which includes ultra-nationalist parties, for wanting to ramp up settlement construction in the occupied territories.

“In the past we have repeatedly made it clear that in our opinion the construction of settlements in the occupied areas is contrary to international law and endangers a sustainable solution to peace,” Sasse said.

Despite being a staunch ally of Israel, Germany has repeatedly gone out of its way to criticize continued Israeli settlement-building, saying it would only further complicate efforts for peace.

Berlin has vowed to continue its efforts, together with the US and other European Union partners, to achieve a mutually acceptable, negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that addresses the legitimate concerns of both sides.

The West Bank, including East Jerusalem, is seen as occupied territory under international law, thus making all Jewish settlements there illegal.

Like Türkiye and much of the international community, Germany does not recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the territories it has occupied since 1967.

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