Netanyahu Meets With German Foreign Minister, Talks Iran and Gaza Threats

Netanyahu's meeting with Germany's Heiko Maas comes after Angela Merkel's two-day visit in Israel during which the chancellor expressed commitment to encourage Palestinians to return to negotiations

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas at the prime minister's office in Jerusalem, October 5, 2018.
Amos Ben Gershom / GPO

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas at the premier's office in Jerusalem on Friday.

Netanyahu told Mass that Israel expects the international community to stand up to Iranian aggression in Syria and Lebanon.

The prime minister also made it clear that Israel will act vigorously toward Gaza if action against Israel's southern residents is taken.

>> Merkel wants to talk high-tech in Israel, but Iran and Palestinians may dampen mood | Analysis 

The meeting comes after a two-day visit by German Chancellor Angela Merkel to Israel. In a joint press conference with Merkel on Thursday, Netanyahu warned that Israel's response to an attack by Hamas would be "very harsh."

Merkel reaffirmed her support for a two-state solution and concern about Israeli settlement expansion in the West Bank. Such activity, she said, "makes the two-state solution difficult to achieve." 

Merkel said that Netanyahu urged Germany to encourage the Palestinians to return to negotiations that collapsed in 2014, adding: "I will do this." There were no plans for Merkel to see Palestinian leaders during her brief visit. 

Earlier Thursday, Merkel met with President Reuven Rivlin, who expressed concern over a new wave of anti-Semitism in Europe. The two met at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem on the second day of Merkel's visit to Israel.