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Germany: president allocates $7.6m for Israeli settlement

November 28, 2023 at 2:36 pm

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier (L) meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) in West Jerusalem on November 27, 2023 [Amos Ben-Gershom (GPO)/Anadolu Agency]

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has announced the allocation of €7 million ($7.6 million) for the reconstruction of a cultural building in Israel’s Be’eri settlement on the outskirts of the besieged Gaza Strip. Steinmeier visited the settlement accompanied by his Israeli counterpart, Isaac Herzog, on the second day of his trip to the occupation state.

“The two presidents met with residents of the kibbutz [settlement] who survived the [Hamas] attack and toured some of the ruins of destroyed homes, buildings and businesses,” said Herzog’s office.

“We have a dream, Mr President,” Herzog told Steinmeier, “to rebuild this place as part of rebuilding the entire Kibbutz Be’eri and the entire region. And we will rebuild, and we will go back, and we will wake up as a nation as a lion, to go back and regain and rebuild these places, so that they will flourish, and send a message of hope and peace to the entire world.”

Steinmeier responded by pointing out that Germans heard the news on 7 October. “We were watching the TV; we saw the pictures, and it was easy to imagine what has happened here. But to be here, right in this place, is different. You know the ruins behind us, they are the silent witness of what had happened here.”

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The Kibbutz movement, said the German president, is in a certain way linked to Europe and especially to Germany. “This Kibbutz in Be’eri was founded by Jews from Germany, from Hungary and from the former Czechoslovakia, and so, therefore, the Kibbutzim are part of the history and they’re representing the soul of Israel.” He ended by expressing his thanks to the German parliament for allocating €7m to rebuild the art gallery and the convention centre in the settlement.

Be’eri was one of the Jewish settlements established in Palestine even before the foundation of the occupation state of Israel in 1948.

The Palestinian resistance led by Hamas launched an attack on Israeli army barracks and settlements in the vicinity of Gaza on 7 October. The resistance fighters crossed the nominal border into the occupation state and took around 240 hostages. Since then, it has been revealed by Haaretz that helicopter gunships and tanks of the Israel Defence Forces had in fact killed many of the 1,200 soldiers and civilians alleged by Israel to have been killed by Hamas.