The German government insisted on Monday that it continues to back the two-state solution to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict but stated that Israel’s protection was more pressing.
“We can’t give up on [a two-state] solution because there hasn’t been a better idea over the last 30 or so years,” a spokesperson for the German government told reporters with regard to the ongoing conflict which was reignited in early October.
The prospect of an independent Palestinian state was necessary to motivate the parties involved for a solution for “the day” after a phone call with the Jordanian king on Friday.
However, the idea of a two-state solution is not viewed the same by everyone in Germany.
Earlier calls for support for an independent Palestinian state were criticised by government and opposition lawmakers, as well as by the Central Council of Jews in Germany, whose president, Josef Schuster, said they were unrealistic because there was no “serious representative on the Palestinian side”.
Promoting a two-state solution was not an imminent priority, the government spokesperson thus admitted on Monday, pointing out that “the long term does not matter” in the face of a “pressing crisis.”
He also emphasised that the focus should be on the “cause of the conflict: the ongoing, brutal attack on Israel by Hamas”, which had ignored calls to stop its assault and continued to fire missiles towards Israel, he argued.
Meanwhile, a Friday statement from a group of UN agencies sounded the alarm over the fact women, children and newborns in Gaza are “disproportionately bearing the burden of the escalation of hostilities in the occupied Palestinian territory.”
They stated that as of the time of publication, 2326 women and 3760 children have been killed in the Gaza strip, equivalent to 67% of all casualties. Thousands more have been injured, they added, calling for “all parties” to abide by their obligations under international humanitarian law.
The statement comes amid growing controversy in Germany over the conflict. While the government is a key ally of Israel and has vocally supported its Gaza counter-offensive, thousands of people across the country marched in solidarity with Palestine over the weekend.
The protests drew criticism – including from the German Council of Muslims – as some participants displayed anti-Semitic and Islamist messaging.
(Nick Alipour | Euractiv.de)
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