Europe

German chancellor voices support to Israeli premier

Angela Merkel extends Germany's solidarity to Israel amid ongoing airstrikes on Gaza

Ekip   | 17.05.2021
German chancellor voices support to Israeli premier

BERLIN

German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday and discussed the current escalation in the Middle East conflict, according to a statement by Merkel's office.

"The Chancellor once again condemned the continued rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza and assured the Prime Minister of the solidarity of the German government," said Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert.

He did not mention any criticism of Israel's provocations during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, nor its disproportionate use of force and airstrikes on Gaza, which killed at least 200 Palestinians, including 59 children

"[The Chancellor] affirmed Israel's right to defend itself against the attacks," Seibert said.

Merkel's coalition government has been a strong supporter of Israel, and the chancellor repeatedly argued that Germany has a special responsibility for the security of Israel, due to the Nazi genocide of the Jews in World War II.


Israel's airstrikes on Gaza

At least 200 Palestinians have been killed, including 59 children and 35 women, in Israeli attacks in Gaza since last week, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. More than 1,305 people have also been injured and dozens of buildings destroyed or damaged in the Israeli offensive.

Ten Israelis have also been killed by rocket fire from the Gaza Strip.

The recent tensions that started in East Jerusalem during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan spread to Gaza as a result of Israeli assaults on worshippers in the flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem, where Al-Aqsa is located, during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. It annexed the entire city in 1980 in a move never recognized by the international community.

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