Israeli official: Germany won't sanction Israel over sovereignty

Israeli diplomatic official says Germany will not respond harshly to Israel’s plan to apply sovereignty over parts of Judea and Samaria.

Elad Benari ,

Netanyahu and Merkel
Netanyahu and Merkel
Flash 90

An Israeli diplomatic official said on Monday that Germany will not respond harshly to Israel’s plan to apply sovereignty over parts of Judea and Samaria.

While the move would likely cause a certain degree of damage to bilateral ties, Berlin has made clear that it does not plan to enact sanctions against the Jewish state or recognize a Palestinian state, the official said, according to The Times of Israel.

“Germany will not go off the deep end. The Germans are not in favor of sanctions, and will not recognize a Palestinian state. They are pragmatic. Their main goal is to guarantee [regional] stability. They don’t want to cause a major upset. Rather, they are going to look for ways to encourage us and the Palestinians to return to talks,” said the official, who spoke to Israeli reporters on conditions of anonymity.

“But the way I know the Germans — their response will likely be more in the area of atmosphere,” the official said. “They will become less open to listen to us and our worries, and it may become more difficult for us to get them to help us in various arenas.”

The comments come as German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas is expected to visit Israel on Wednesday in order to warn Israeli officials of implications should Israel go ahead with the sovereignty move.

Channel 13 News reported on Friday that Maas, who will come to Israel as a guest of Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi, will also meet with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz and is expected to tell them that while Germany wants to continue the strong alliance with Israel, it firmly opposes annexation that may harm Israel-Germany relations as well as relations between Israel and the European Union.

The coalition agreement between Netanyahu and Gantz, which stipulates that the government can apply sovereignty over Judea and Samaria this coming July, has caused an uproar in Europe.

The European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell, recently warned Israel against applying sovereignty over portions of Judea and Samaria.

Later, Borrell made clear that the EU will not accept an Israeli move to apply sovereignty over parts of Judea and Samaria.

Some of the leaders of major European countries recently sent personal letters to Netanyahu urging him not to promote a move to apply sovereignty over Judea and Samaria and to act on the Palestinian issue only in accordance with international law.