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Somewhat Changed Official Tones on Israel in Germany

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has suggested resuming the EU control mission on the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt, reports Zeit Online. Such a mission could help to ensure that humanitarian aid could reach the Gaza Strip if the border were opened, Baerbock said during a discussion with citizens at the “Democracy Festival” in Berlin. At the EU Foreign Ministers’ meeting in Brussels on May 27, she wanted to “campaign for us to bring the EU mission back there.” The EU had sent the EUBAM Rafah control mission to the border with Egypt in 2005 following Israel’s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. The control of border traffic was also intended to help build trust between Israel and the Palestinian government. After Hamas took power in the Gaza Strip in 2007, the mission was suspended.

At another public discussion with citizens at the same “Democracy Festival,” Economy Minister Robert Habeck accused Israel of breaking international law. “It is indeed the case that Israel has crossed borders there, and it must not do so.… Of course Israel must abide by international law. And the famine, the suffering of the Palestinian population and the attacks in the Gaza Strip are—as we can now see in court—incompatible with international law.… This means that Israel has indeed crossed borders there, and it must not do so.”

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