West Bank Annexation Will Harm Israel's Relations With Germany but Berlin Will Oppose Sanctions, Officials Believe

Foreign Ministry officials believe annexation may affect Germany's willingness to support Israel on various issues

Noa Landau
Noa Landau
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, 2018
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, 2018Credit: Chaim Tzach / GPO
Noa Landau
Noa Landau

Moving ahead with annexing parts of the West Bank will harm Israel's relations with Germany, officials in Israel's foreign ministry believe.

LISTEN: Annexation vexation comes between Bibi and the settlersCredit: Haaretz

The officials said, however, that they do not expect Berlin to sanction Israel nor support imposing them or will take dramatic steps if land annexation goes through. But they added that annexation may change the nature of the relationship between Germany and Israel and may affect Germany's willingness to support Israel on various issues.

According to sources within the ministry, Israel's intent to annex West Bank settlements is a grave concern for Germany, which seeks to mediate between Israelis and Palestinians and prevent a violent escalation in the region.

Germany is a key ally of Israel in international organizations, but is also a staunt defender of international law institutions.

As reported in Haaretz Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s declarations that annexation will be promoted on July 1, in less than one month, have put Berlin in a major quandary. On July 1, Germany will be taking over the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union and will be assuming the presidency of the UN Security Council. These two roles will require the Germans to choose between their allegiance to international law and UN resolutions on the one hand, and their historical commitment to Israel on the other

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas will land in Israel on Wednesday and will meet with Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi and other Israeli officials. In the afternoon, he will meet with Palestinian officials over video conference, and in the evening will depart to Jordan.

Although the official purpose of the visit by Maas is to become acquainted with his new Israeli counterpart, he is also expected to ask Israel to avoid putting Germany in a difficult position by pushing ahead with its intentions to annex lands in the West Bank.

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

SUBSCRIBE
Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

The Orion nebula, photographed in 2009 by the Spitzer Telescope.

What if the Big Bang Never Actually Happened?

Relatives mourn during the funeral of four teenage Palestinians from the Nijm family killed by an errant rocket in Jabalya in the northern Gaza Strip, August 7.

Why Palestinian Islamic Jihad Rockets Kill So Many Palestinians

בן גוריון

'Strangers in My House': Letters Expelled Palestinian Sent Ben-Gurion in 1948, Revealed

AIPAC

AIPAC vs. American Jews: The Toxic Victories of the 'pro-Israel' Lobby

Bosnian Foreign Minister Bisera Turkovic speaks during a press conference in Sarajevo, Bosnia in May.

‘This Is Crazy’: Israeli Embassy Memo Stirs Political Storm in the Balkans

Hamas militants take part in a military parade in Gaza.

Israel Rewards Hamas for Its Restraint During Gaza Op