German FM: 'Germany stands at Israel's side and supports its right to defend itself'

Israeli FM Ashkenazi: 'No country would accept terrorism, aggression towards citizens.'

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas at the scene of the attack
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas at the scene of the attack
Miri Shimonovitz

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas on Thursday visited the scene of a rocket attack together with Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi (Blue and White) .

"Germany stands at Israel's side and supports its right to defend itself," Maas said earlier in a statement.

"I would like to thank you, Gabi, for hosting me during these difficult times. I arrived in Israel to show solidarity and to support Israel in the wake of the rocket fire from Gaza.

"Israel has the right to defend itself!

"We are following with concern the humanitarian situation in Gaza, and we are aware of the Israelis' efforts to bring humanitarian aid to residents of Gaza.

"We support the efforts to bring about a ceasefire as soon as possible. I spoke about this with the US, Egypt, and other countries, and I hope the efforts will bear fruit. We also need to look towards the future and ensure lasting peace in the region, and allow a situation in which Israelis and Palestinians will be able to live here with self-determination. The current situation is one of uncertainty and a situation which supports only those who spread hatred and terror.

"As Gabi said, and I support him, there is no negotiation about the security of Israel and the Jewish residents here," Maas concluded.

Ashkenazi said: "My friend, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, thank you very much for your solidarity visit to Israel today. I am grateful for Germany's support since the beginning of the war, and for condemning Hamas' terrorist activities."

"With every rocket fired, Hamas is committing a double war crime. They fire at Israeli citizens from within population centers in Gaza, using the entire population of Gaza as human shields.

"No country in the world would accept acts of terrorism and aggression towards its citizens. Israel uses proportionate force while doing all it can to avoid harming civilians."Dear Foreign Minister, I would like to emphasize again the importance I see in your visit to Israel these days."

Defense Minister Benny Gantz also met Maas on Thursday, and expressed his appreciation to the minister for Germany's unequivocal support during this challenging hour for Israel’s people, and for its unwavering commitment to Israel’s security.

Gantz further reviewed assessments of Israel's military campaign in Gaza, which is continuing to target Hamas' terror infrastructure to the end of restoring long-term calm. The two leaders affirmed the deep ties of friendship between the two countries and underscored the shared goal of weakening extremist elements and strengthening moderate forces in Gaza and in the region at large, to the end of securing long-term peace and stability.

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