Article by Foreign Minister Steinmeier on the murder of the three kidnapped adolescents in Israel. Published in the Bild newspaper on 2 July 2014.
The news is devastating: the three Israeli adolescents who were kidnapped have been murdered. There is immense pain and grief. Our thoughts are with the families of Naftali Frenkel, Gilad Shaar and Eyal Yifrach, we can hardly begin to imagine what they are going through at this harrowing time.
I hope that any action taken over the next few days is driven by the desire for peace. Justice is a component of peace – the murderers must be found quickly and brought to justice, along with all persons behind this. Israelis and Palestinians should cooperate in this regard. No more innocent people can be allowed to come to harm. If this tragedy leads to a renewed, never-ending spiral of violence then the perpetrators will have accomplished their goal.
Although we may seem to be a long way from reaching this point: there is no alternative to pursuing the peace process and a two-state solution. Israelis and Palestinians must return to the negotiating table, preferably sooner rather than later. In order for them to do so the trust that has been lost must be restored. Particularly at this time of the most terrible grief and anger it is important to remain level-headed.
This demands a great deal of courage and strength. Israel has both!