Foreign Minister Baerbock issued the following statement today (10 October 2023) prior to the informal meeting of EU foreign ministers on the situation in Israel and the Palestinian territories:
“Europe stands united alongside Israel. The acts of terror by Hamas mark a dramatic watershed and have brought an unprecedented level of violence and fear to the people in Israel. We are deeply shocked. Our thoughts are with the families of the many hundreds of people killed. Today’s special meeting is an expression of our solidarity with Israel.
To the Palestinian leaders we say in no uncertain terms: distance yourselves from this terrorism. There can be no justification for it. As the Palestinian Authority, you have an obligation to act responsibly, also in the interests of your own people. The violence must not be allowed to spread to the West Bank.
The German Government, like the European Commission, regularly reviews its assistance for the Palestinian territories. In this emergency situation we are once again scrutinising not only our development cooperation but also our humanitarian assistance, in close consultation with the United Nations. We agree, however, that it would be quite wrong at this point in time to halt vital humanitarian assistance for the civilian population. Millions of people, including many children, in the Palestinian territories, depend on us for the provision of food, water and medicines.
The suffering and death of Palestinian civilians is part of the terrorists’ strategy. The fact that Hamas is hiding behind the civilian population in this situation is particularly perfidious. Even in this state of absolute emergency, protection of the civilian population is the utmost priority. The terrorists’ plan must not be allowed to succeed.
Through its acts of terror, Hamas wants to ignite a conflagration. The goal must now be to prevent other players in the region from adding fuel to the fire.