Protests flank the Israeli Prime Minister’s visit to Berlin, which was cut short at short notice for reasons that are still unknown. Will highly controversial projects in Israel also be an issue?
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shortens his visit to Berlin. Instead of leaving on Friday morning as originally planned, he will leave on Thursday evening, the Israeli Embassy in Berlin said at the request of the German Press Agency. A reason was not given.
According to Israeli media reports, a security incident on Monday in northern Israel is said to be the background. A blackout had been imposed on the details of a bomb blast near Megiddo.
What is known: A young man from the Arab village of Salem was seriously injured in the explosion on Monday. Authorities assumed a possible terrorist attack. According to media reports, he suffered injuries all over his body from bomb splinters. The bomb was hidden on the side of a traffic road and detonated there, it was said. The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that it may be a type of explosive device used against Israeli soldiers in southern Lebanon in the past. The Israeli army withdrew from the so-called security zone in 2000.
Netanyahu held a security briefing with Defense Minister Joav Galant on Wednesday afternoon, officials said. In the last few days, Netanyahu has been informed about “security developments” together with the military leadership and is following them.
SPD politician Mast: address problems openly
Meanwhile, before Netanyahu’s visit, the parliamentary secretary of the SPD parliamentary group, Katja Mast, called for critical points to be addressed. Germany has a deep friendship with the State of Israel. “Nevertheless, in this friendship we must be able to address things critically as the Federal Republic of Germany,” said Mast in Berlin. As examples, she cited the controversial judicial reform and “settlement construction, which violates international law.”
“I am quite sure that the Chancellor will find his words to address things and still speak in friendship with the State of Israel,” said Mast.
Netanyahu will meet with Chancellor Olaf Scholz and President Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Berlin on Thursday. The visit is overshadowed by a bitter dispute in Israel over judicial reform that Netanyahu’s right-wing religious government is pushing ahead with. Opponents of the reform have been protesting against the plans at large demonstrations for weeks. Protests are also expected in Berlin.
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