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Germany criticises Israel’s Netanyahu for rejecting 2-state solution

March 11, 2024 at 4:55 pm

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu [ABIR SULTAN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images]

The German government, on Monday, criticised Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s statement vowing to stop the creation of a Palestinian State, saying Berlin is committed to establishing an independent Palestinian State alongside the Jewish State, Anadolu Agency reports.

Netanyahu’s remarks are “indeed serious statements that are not in line with ours and the expectations of the international community,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Sebastian Fischer, said at a press conference in Berlin.

“It is completely clear that, in the end, there is no alternative to the two-state solution if the rights of the Palestinians are to be protected, and that only a two-state solution can guarantee Israel’s security in the long-term,” he added.

Fischer was referring to Netanyahu’s comments in an interview with the Berlin-based BILD newspaper on Sunday, in which he vowed that there would be no Palestinian State.

WATCH: ‘Netanyahu’s cabinet created a massive humanitarian disaster, pushing the region further away from a two-state solution’

“We do not want to see a Palestinian State after 7 October, for the simple reason that the Hamas massacre was started from a de facto Palestinian state in Gaza. We do not want to see a Palestinian State because 85 percent of Palestinians under the control of the Palestinian Authority support the massacre,” Netanyahu told the daily.

On 26 February, Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s co-ruling Social Democratic Party (SPD) caused a political stir by saying that the recognition of a Palestinian State should no longer be a “taboo” for Germany, growing international frustration with Israel’s military actions in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

“The recognition of a Palestinian State shouldn’t be taboo for us. To escape the spiral of violence, to get out of it, you need two things. Firstly, very quickly, a ceasefire to release the hostages. It has to be linked to a political offer that creates security for both sides,” SPD lawmaker, Nils Schmid, said in an interview with the weekly news magazine, Der Spiegel.

“This should include the normalisation of Israel’s relations with the Arab states but also the recognition of a State of Palestine. The final borders have been clarified in the negotiations but at the beginning, all parties should recognise what the aim of the negotiations is: a Palestinian State that is constructed so that it cannot threaten Israel,” the SPD foreign policy spokesman added.

Germany and the EU have long supported a two-state solution in the Mideast, but only as part of a negotiated settlement. With talks long bogged down and Israel’s military onslaught in Gaza deepening, some European countries are voicing openly support for recognising a Palestinian State sooner.

Israel has waged a deadly military offensive on the Gaza Strip since a 7 October cross-border attack led by the Palestinian group, Hamas, in which some 1,200 people were killed.

However, since then, it has been revealed by Haaretz that helicopters and tanks of the Israeli army had, in fact, killed many of the 1,139 soldiers and civilians claimed by Israel to have been killed by the Palestinian Resistance.

Nearly 31,000 Palestinians, mostly women and children, have since been killed in Gaza, and over 72,500 others injured amid mass destruction and shortages of necessities.

The Israeli war has pushed 85 per cent of Gaza’s population into internal displacement amid a crippling blockade of most food, clean water and medicine, while 60 per cent of the enclave’s infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice. An interim ruling in January ordered Tel Aviv to stop genocidal acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.

READ: Guterres says Israel’s rejection of two-state solution will embolden extremists