Foreign Minister Baerbock prior to her departure for Israel, the Palestinian territories, Egypt and Lebanon

07.01.2024 - Press release

Precisely three months ago, Hamas terror brought unimaginable suffering to children, women and men in the Middle East – in Israel and Gaza. For precisely three months now, people in Israel have desperately feared for the lives of their abducted relatives while rockets continue to fly from Gaza. It is precisely three months since Hamas cowardly dug itself in behind hundreds of thousands of civilians seeking non-existent protection in a completely desperate situation, starving, thirsting and searching for their loved ones in the chaos and destruction.

In the midst of a domestic political deadlock and a desolate economic situation, the people of Lebanon also fear that just one more spark could ignite the entire region. The situation in the Middle East is extremely dangerous, with missiles coming from two other directions: Hezbollah and the Houthis.

We all feel that the terrorist playbook must not be allowed to continue any longer. Terrorism must come to an end. The humanitarian plight of the people must come to an end. The region must emerge from this endless cycle of violence. Now is the time to finally lay the foundations for lasting peace and security. Far too many people have already died in this conflict – people who did not want this war and who long for nothing more than peace.

To achieve this, Gaza must no longer pose a threat to Israel’s existence. Hamas must lay down its arms and Hezbollah and the Houthis must cease playing with fire. To achieve this, the people in Gaza and the West Bank need to be able to live in security, dignity and self-determination – and in Gaza they need much more humanitarian assistance right away: against acute hunger, against spreading epidemics and against the cold of winter. For its part, Israel, which has the right and the duty to defend itself against terrorism, must afford civilians much better protection in the course of its military action.

As remote as this may seem right now, Israelis and Palestinians will only be able to live side by side in peace if the security of one is part and parcel of the security of the other. This will only succeed if each acknowledges the other’s suffering. We must leave no stone unturned on the path to a two-state solution.


Top of page