Baerbock in the West Bank: Germany increases humanitarian aid to Palestinians

Baerbock in the West Bank: Germany increases humanitarian aid to Palestinians

Foreign Minister Baerbock is visiting Israel for the third time following the terrorist attack by the Islamist Hamas. This time she is also traveling to the Palestinian territories. It should be a sign.

Germany is increasing its humanitarian aid to the Palestinian territories by a further 38 million euros in view of the suffering of the civilian population in the Gaza Strip. Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock announced this after a conversation with Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtaje in Ramallah in the West Bank.

This means that Germany will make over 160 million euros available for the Palestinian territories this year. At the same time, the Green politician warned against violence spreading to the West Bank.

“The future of the Palestinians must be better than their present and past,” said Baerbock. It is also in Israel’s interest that the Palestinians can determine their own future in their own state. “It is so important that the West Bank is not also affected by violence and destruction.” The Federal Foreign Minister emphasized: “There will be no peace with terror and violence.”

She will emphasize to her Israeli interlocutors “that funds that belong to the Palestinian Authority must also be made available to them in full,” said Baerbock. “Precisely because Israel’s security is so important to us, we must strengthen those actors and institutions like the Palestinian Authority at this moment (…) because they are needed to realize an independent Palestinian state.”

A first important step for the people in Gaza is the humanitarian breaks, said Baerbock. “These need to be expanded further.” The hospitals in the north of the Gaza Strip must also have security of supply. There is also a need for more humanitarian access. “What we have now is far from enough.” The European airlift has already brought 372 tons of relief supplies. “But we see that that is not enough.”

Baerbock condemns settler violence

Baerbock said she condemns the increasing violence by radical Israeli settlers in the strongest possible terms. Criminal and violent acts against the Palestinian population in the West Bank must be stopped and prosecuted. “Israel has a central responsibility here to protect the Palestinian civilian population. Because settler violence also damages Israel’s security.”

The situation in the West Bank has deteriorated significantly since the beginning of the war. More than 175 Palestinians were killed, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health. Since then, the Israeli army says it has arrested 1,540 suspects in raids, including 930 with suspected ties to Hamas. There are also more reports of violence by Israeli settlers against Palestinians.

Meeting with representatives of Israel

In the evening (local time) Baerbock wanted to meet Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen and opposition leader Jair Lapid in the coastal metropolis of Tel Aviv. A conversation was also planned with the opposition politician Benny Gantz, who is a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s war cabinet.

Baerbock is again promoting humanitarian ceasefires

In the morning, during talks in Saudi Arabia, Baerbock again advocated for humanitarian ceasefires to supply the needy population in the Gaza Strip. At the meetings with representatives of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, there was agreement “that there is a need for humanitarian ceasefires that also allow for the supply of humanitarian aid,” it was said afterwards from delegation circles.

It was also agreed that there could only be peace for Palestinians and Israelis with the prospect of a two-state solution, it said. The central point in the talks was the efforts to release the hostages, in which Qatar played a very important role.

Meeting with Qatar’s Prime Minister and Saudi Foreign Minister

Baerbock spoke to the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Qatar, Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, in the Saudi capital Riyadh. At the same time as the Green Party politician’s visit, he was in the city for a meeting of Arab and other Islamic states on the Gaza war. She then met Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud.

Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Emirates are considered important mediators

Like Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the Emirates are seen as influential potential mediators, for example when it comes to the freeing of the Hamas hostages and a future peace solution. The Islamist Hamas not only killed hundreds of people in its attack on Israel, but also took around 240 hostages. According to the families, around 20 of those abducted also have German passports.

Source: Stern

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