After her visit to Israel to show her solidarity following the horrific terrorist attack by Hamas and her talks in Egypt on 13 and 14 October, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock will be in the Middle East once more on 19 and 21 October. The trip will take her to Jordan, Israel, Lebanon, and Egypt where she will take part in the “Cairo Summit for Peace”.
The situation remains very dramatic: around ten days ago, Hamas’ supporters brought inconceivably brutal horror to Israel. More than 1300 people lost their lives in these terrorist attacks. Since then, Hamas and its affiliated terrorist groups have been firing missiles at Israel on a daily basis. These attacks have hit Israeli families who still fear for the lives of their loved ones and, on top of that, have to run for cover every 30 minutes.
In this connection, Foreign Minister Baerbock stated the following prior to her trip:
We stand in unwavering solidarity with Israel in the fight against Hamas. Israel has the right to defend itself against the Hamas terror – within the parameters laid down by international law for such exceptional situations. This is a hugely difficult challenge in the face of a cruel opponent who is using people as human shields. Hamas has a perfidious strategy whereby the Palestinian civilian population is being exposed to death, hardship and suffering in order to create a breeding ground for further terrorism. At the same time, the terror is aimed at jeopardising the rapprochement reached to date between Israel and its Arab neighbours and to separate the Arab countries from the Global North. This terrorist strategy must not succeed.
During her trip, Foreign Minister Baerbock will continue her close exchange with her Jordanian counterpart about the situation in the Middle East. The Ministers spoke with each other in Berlin only last week. And Foreign Minister Baerbock will also have political talks in Tel Aviv once more. For it is clear that the fight must be directed against Hamas and not against the Palestinian civilian population.
Crisis diplomacy in the face of Hamas’ terror will focus on the following core themes:
During her trip, Foreign Minister Baerbock will use every opportunity to speak to all those who have channels to Hamas about how the release of the hostages abducted by Hamas in Israel and taken to Gaza can be brought about.
The trip will also focus on the humanitarian situation of the Palestinian civilian population, who are now on the brink of a humanitarian disaster due to Hamas’ terror. In view of the disastrous situation in Gaza, Palestinian mothers are asking themselves how they can continue to feed their young children. Foreign Minister Baerbock will talk, among others, to representatives of UNRWA. The organisation’s workers are still operating on the ground and can tell the Minister about their experiences and give their assessment of the situation.
Foreign Minister Baerbock emphasised:
The humanitarian situation for hundreds of thousands of innocent people in Gaza is disastrous. There is a lack of everything. It is crucial that international aid, food, water and medical supplies can be brought to the people in Gaza swiftly and unhindered.
Furthermore, many German nationals are still in Gaza. One focus of the trip will therefore be to enable German nationals to leave Gaza as soon as possible.
Particularly in the talks in Israel’s neighbours – Lebanon and Jordan – the talks will centre around the third focus of the trip, namely how we can prevent Hamas’ terror from spreading and a conflagration taking hold in the region.