Foreign Minister Baerbock prior to her visit to Egypt, Israel and the Palestinian territories

24.03.2024 - Press release

Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock issued the following statement today (24 March 2024) prior to her departure for Egypt, Israel and the Palestinian territories:

In the hell that is Gaza, more than a million children, women, men are at risk of starvation. Day after day, desperate mothers and fathers reach out their hands for even the smallest meal for their children – and day after day, far too many come away with nothing. Because Hamas not only continues to hide duplicitously behind them, but is also depriving them of the bare necessities of life. And because, quite simply, not enough aid is reaching Gaza. This cannot go on for another day.

The people there need everything – every crate of food, medication, water purification tablets or medical equipment counts. Every crate sitting on lorries held up at Gaza’s border fences is one too many. Together with our international partners, we are exploring every possible option. But airdrops or sea bridges are not a sustainable solution. The Israeli Government must finally open the border crossings for much more aid.

Because empty hands and desperate concerns about a large-scale offensive in Rafah are fomenting new hatred and causing peace to recede into the distance. And yet we all realise that not only this war, but also the decades-long conflict and perennial violence, must come to an end. We are doing everything in our power to achieve even the smallest steps forward.

We stand by our responsibility for Israel’s security. Hamas must lay down its weapons and must never again be permitted to inflict the terror of 7 October on the people of Israel. But this goal cannot be achieved by military means alone. And military action has its limits in international humanitarian law.

Only an immediate humanitarian pause leading to a sustainable ceasefire will keep the hope of peace alive – for both Palestinians and Israelis. Because the death in Gaza and the suffering of the more than 100 hostages still held captive by Hamas are intertwined. The suffering must end for everyone. The negotiations in Doha must finally produce a successful outcome.

My talks in the region will also focus once again on how a political horizon might look. Only the prospect of a two-state solution with a reformed Palestinian Authority, as the first step towards a democratic Palestinian state, can offer people a life in security and dignity. On the path to achieving this, we must explore every possible option to build confidence on all sides.


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