On the eve of his trip to the Middle East Foreign Minister Steinmeier issued the following statement in Berlin today (13 July):
The rocket attacks by Hamas against Israel have triggered a spiral of violence that almost seems unstoppable now. People on both sides live in constant fear of the next attack. The images of the many innocent victims are hard to bear.
We cannot be indifferent to this tragic development – not only out of concern for Israel’s security but also because the possible consequences of a further escalation can hardly be fathomed.
Any hope of the peace process being revived now seems remote. Yet in this situation it is particularly important that we seek contact to the political decision‑makers. That is the main aim of my forthcoming talks in Amman, Jerusalem and Ramallah. This is the only way to even explore possible approaches to de‑escalation.