Netanyahu speaks with Merkel

Prime Minister Netanyahu speaks with German Chancellor following report in Germany about tensions between the two countries.

Elad Benari ,

Netanyahu and Merkel at press conference in Berlin
Netanyahu and Merkel at press conference in Berlin
Amos Ben Gershom/GPO

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Wednesday evening spoke with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, following recent reports in Germany about tensions between the two countries, Haaretz reported.

The German Der Spiegel newspaper reported on Saturday that relations between Germany and Israel are not as they used to be, with senior officials accusing Netanyahu of “taking advantage of the relationship with Germany in order to achieve his political goal” and adding that Merkel has lost her hope of renewing peace talks with the Palestinians during Netanyahu's term as prime minister.

Israeli officials denied there was any tension with Germany, and Germany likewise denied the contents of the report earlier in the week.

A few hours before Wednesday’s telephone conversation between Netanyahu and Merkel, reported Haaretz, the chancellor's spokesman, Steffen Seibert, said at his weekly news conference that the German government's position toward Israel and the peace process hasn't changed.

"Neither did the solidarity of the federal government toward Israel change, nor did our viewpoint change that we still believe that a two-state-solution is the only possible option," he stressed. 

Seibert said that Germany's government is worried about the violence between the Israelis and the Palestinians and the actions taken by both sides.

German's Foreign Ministry spokesman Martin Schaefer, who was also at the press conference, asserted that the German Foreign Ministry's position toward Israel hasn't changed, either. He added that the ministry continues to maintain the position that the construction of “settlements” is a violation of international law.