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Germany criticises Israel army’s shifting of Occupied West Bank control to settlers

June 24, 2024 at 8:23 pm

Israeli soldiers are seen as Fanatic Jewish settlers organise a provocative tour of the Old City under the protection of Israeli soldiers in the Hebron, West Bank on June 08, 2024 [Wisam Hashlamoun – Anadolu Agency]

Germany, on Monday, criticised plans by the Israeli military to move the control of Occupied West Bank to pro-settler groups, Anadolu Agency reports.

“The Israeli army bears responsibility for the Occupation and this is incompatible with handing over responsibility to a civilian administration and that is why it is a report that we have followed with great concern. We reject an annexation of the West Bank,” German Foreign Ministry spokesman, Sebastian Fischer, told media representatives in Berlin.

“Any step towards annexation of the West Bank by Israel is a step in the wrong direction. We reject it,” he added.

The Israeli army’s Civil Administration handed reportedly more control over the Occupied West Bank to the Settlements Administration, led by far-right Finance Minister, Bezalel Smotrich, who lives in an illegal settlement himself.

Since he joined government, Smotrich has openly pressed for more Israeli settlements in the Occupied West Bank – illegal under international law – as steps towards annexation.

In other related news, the German government condemned the action of Israeli army forces who strapped a wounded Palestinian man to the hood of a military jeep during an arrest raid in the Occupied West Bank city of Jenin on Saturday.

The video footage of an injured person on the hood of an army vehicle was “hard to bear”, said Fischer.

He pointed out that this behavior also represented a breach of its rules for the Israeli army.

The federal (German) government now expects “quick clarification, quick results and corresponding consequences for those responsible”, Fischer added.

A video circulating on social media showed a Palestinian resident of Jenin, Mujahed Azmi, on the jeep that passes by two ambulances.

The Israeli military claimed in a statement that Israeli forces were fired at and exchanged fire, wounding a suspect and apprehending him.

READ: Israel detains 25 more Palestinians in occupied West Bank