War in the Middle East: Baerbock in crisis talks: prudence towards Iran

War in the Middle East: Baerbock in crisis talks: prudence towards Iran

The situation in the Middle East after Iran’s attack is extremely dangerous. Israel wants to react, but its partners are calling for moderation. But Netanyahu doesn’t want to be talked into it. The News.

Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) has called on Iran and Israel to exercise “maximum restraint” in view of the impending conflagration in the Near and Middle East. During crisis talks in Israel, Baerbock and her British counterpart David Cameron called for prudent and responsible action.

With a view to the Iranian attack on Israel at the weekend and a possible reaction by Israel, Baerbock said that they wanted to prevent “the extremely dangerous situation in the Middle East from becoming a regional conflagration.” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said after meetings with the two that he appreciated “suggestions and advice.” However, Israel will make its own decisions and “do whatever is necessary to defend itself.”

Restraint as a strength

Baerbock explained in Tel Aviv before her departure to a meeting of the group of seven major industrial nations (G7) on the Italian island of Capri that she did not expect Israel to “back down”. Rather, she speaks of “a clever restraint that is nothing less than strength.” Israel has already shown strength with its “defensive victory” at the weekend. The country made it clear to Iran how much Tehran had miscalculated and was isolated in the region.

“The countries in the region do not want to become a substitute battlefield,” said the Green politician. “The region must not gradually slide into a situation whose outcome is completely unforeseeable.” She also warned the pro-Iranian Hezbollah militia in Lebanon and the Houthis in Yemen of further escalations. A Hezbollah attack on Israel’s north on Wednesday left 13 people injured, four of them seriously.

Iran’s dangerous actions will not remain without further consequences, said Baerbock and asserted solidarity with Israel. Iran and its allies must not “add fuel to the fire.” The EU has already imposed massive sanctions on Tehran and will continue to work on it.

“An escalation spiral would not serve anyone,” warned the Green politician. This applies to the security of Israel, the many dozens of hostages in the hands of Hamas, the population of Gaza, the “many people in Iran who themselves are suffering under the regime”, and also to other states in the region. She added: “As the G7, we speak with one voice: all actors in the region are called upon to exercise maximum restraint.”

Israel plans military response to Iran’s major attack

Israel says it wants to respond militarily to Iran’s first direct attack. According to the Israeli Kan broadcaster, Netanyahu said on Tuesday at a meeting with ministers from his Likud party: “We will respond to Iran, but you have to do it intelligently and not from your gut. You have to be nervous, like that They made us nervous.” Israeli television reported on Wednesday that there were a number of possible targets for such a counterstrike. These included the Iranian oil fields and military bases, but possibly also the country’s nuclear facilities. Attacks at sea or on Iranian Revolutionary Guard facilities in Syria are also conceivable.

Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi once again warned of a “devastating” response from his country if Israel exercises even the slightest “aggression” against Iran. During the major attack on Israel over the weekend, Iran and its accomplices fired more than 500 projectiles, according to Israeli Defense Minister Joav Galant. However, almost all of them were intercepted by Israel and its allies. The attack was triggered by a suspected Israeli attack on the Iranian embassy in the Syrian capital Damascus, in which, among others, two generals from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard were killed at the beginning of the month.

In Jerusalem on Wednesday morning, the Green politician met with Cameron and Israeli President Izchak Herzog. It is Baerbock’s seventh visit to Israel since the terrorist attack on Israel by the Islamist Hamas on October 7th. Herzog said: “The whole world must take decisive and firm action against the threat posed by the Iranian regime, which seeks to undermine stability throughout the region.” Israel is clearly obliged to defend its people.

Concern for hostages and aid for civilians in Gaza

In addition to Iran, efforts to free the hostages from the hands of Hamas and the humanitarian situation of the suffering civilian population in the Gaza Strip, where Israel is fighting the Islamists, were also topics in Jerusalem. There are also “several German citizens in the hands of the brutal terrorists,” including a one-year-old baby, said Baerbock. The Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip, Jihia al-Sinwar, is playing a cynical game with the hostages and his own population.

“The immediate return of all hostages held by Hamas in Gaza remains the highest priority for us – and the international community,” said Herzog after the meeting with the Foreign Minister. At the same time, humanitarian aid to the civilian population in the Gaza Strip is being “dramatically” increased. Baerbock said that the people in Gaza “still lack everything, enough water, food and medicine, because too little of that is still arriving, especially via the all-important land route.” Israel recently opened another crossing in the north of the Gaza Strip.

New sanctions against Iran as a brake on war

The USA and the EU want to prevent a new war in the Middle East with further sanctions against Iran after its major attack on Israel. The sanctions were aimed, among other things, against the Islamic Republic’s missile and drone program and would be coordinated with allies such as the G7 states, said the US President’s security advisor, Jake Sullivan, on Tuesday evening (local time) in Washington. Shortly before, EU chief diplomat Josep Borrell had also announced new sanctions.

Scholz: Starting point for terrorist listing by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard

Chancellor Olaf Scholz sees a possible approach to classifying the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization, as demanded by Israel. There is a verdict on the question of the activities of this organization, explained Scholz on the sidelines of the EU summit in the evening. This could be a starting point for listing the Revolutionary Guards. A legal review of the issue is currently underway in the EU.

Israel has long been calling for the Iranian Revolutionary Guard to be classified as a terrorist organization; this was reiterated after the Iranian attack. In the past, the EU had always emphasized that a terror listing of the Guards was currently not legally possible because it would require a national court decision or a ban order from an administrative authority.

Army: Gaza aid flows through Ashdod port for first time

For the first time since the port of Ashdod in southern Israel was opened for aid deliveries to the Gaza Strip, aid for the coastal area was handled through the port. Eight transporters with flour were checked there and then taken to the Gaza Strip, the Israeli army and the Israeli Cogat authority, which is responsible for contacts with the Palestinians and humanitarian aid, said in the evening. However, the World Food Program (WFP) trucks drove into the coastal area via the Kerem Shalom border crossing in the south – not via Erez in the north of the Gaza Strip, the opening of which Israel also recently announced. Kerem Shalom has long been used for aid deliveries.

The move is “part of the new phase of Israel’s humanitarian campaign,” a spokesman for the Cogat authority said in a video message on Wednesday. The handling of aid supplies through the port of Ashdod means an additional route for humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip. In addition, another checkpoint for aid was created. Israel inspects all aid shipments before they are allowed to enter the Palestinian coastal area for fear of arms smuggling.

Source: Stern

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