After a telephone conversation with his Israeli counterpart Tzipi Livni, Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier issued the following statement in Berlin today (13 January):
"In view of the continuing conflict and the worsening humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, we now need a humanitarian suspension of hostilities.
This would be a step towards a durable and comprehensive ceasefire. During my recent trip to Egypt and Israel I proposed a plan of work aimed at creating the required conditions. Alongside effective border security arrangements, these include in particular halting arms smuggling into Gaza. Here, too, there has been clear progress in recent days. Germany intends to contribute to these efforts.
The next few days will be decisive. It will now be vital for all political stakeholders to work hard to achieve a ceasefire."