Israel has Right to Defend Itself; Hamas in Gaza Responsible for Outbreak of Violence
Enlarge image Chancellor Angela Merkel (© picture alliance / dpa) Chancellor Angela Merkel is watching the escalation of violence in the Middle East with great concern. Hamas in Gaza is responsible for the outbreak of violence. There is no justification for firing rockets on Israel, through which the civilian population is severely suffering. The Chancellor calls on the responsible parties in the Gaza Strip to cease firing on Israel immediately. At the same time, she appeals to the Egyptian government to use its influence over Hamas to induce the organization to restrain itself and stop the violence. The civilian population is bearing the brunt of the escalation in violence. The Israeli government has the right and the obligation to protect its population in the appropriate manner.
Enlarge image Foreign Minister Westerwelle (© picture alliance / Sven Simon) Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle also underscored Israel’s right to defend itself. “The causes of this escalation are the rocket attacks from Gaza, for which Hamas is to be held accountable and which have inflicted considerable damage and also many casualties on the Israeli side,” Westerwelle said. “Israel has the right to defend itself and also the right to protect its citizens. At the same time, everything possible must be done to prevent a further escalation and above all also to avoid civilian casualties. I therefore counsel and call on all parties to recognize their responsibility and emerge from the logic of escalation. We must now above all exert influence to calm and de-escalate [the situation]. But Hamas bears responsibility for this latest escalation, through rocket attacks that have no justification, and those rocket attacks must be stopped immediately. Only then will it be possible to end the violence.” One should not overlook, Westerwelle said, that the steps that Israel has taken to open Gaza have evidently been abused.