Foreign Minister Baerbock on the situation in the Middle East

01.12.2023 - Press release

Right now we need to do everything possible to ensure that the humanitarian pause is extended. For the sake of the remaining hostages, who have been held in dark tunnels for weeks, hoping to be released, and for the sake of the people in Gaza in urgent need of more humanitarian assistance.

The suffering of the people in Israel is unbearable. The suffering of the people in Gaza is unbearable. This suffering must end at last, for everyone. Israel will never be able to live in security if terrorism is not overcome. And by the same token, Israel can only enjoy security if the Palestinians also have prospects for the future.

Because, as yesterday’s deadly attack in Jerusalem and the latest missile attacks show, that can only happen when Hamas’ destructive terror no longer has any chance of re-establishing itself. When Hamas no longer has any chance of bringing the terror of 7 October to Israel over and over again. When Israel no longer has to defend itself against this terrorism and take the unimaginably difficult decision about how to wage its fight against Hamas – while having to do everything in its power to protect the civilian population.

If that is to happen, everyone who sees the suffering on both sides and wants to end it for all must work to ensure that Hamas no longer poses an existential threat to Israel. That would of course also mean that Hamas must lay down its weapons.

That is the only way to open up any political perspective for a two-state solution that can provide security both to Israelis and to Palestinians – unrealistic as that might seem this morning especially.


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