Both PM Netanyahu and Chancellor Merkel said the key to end Palestinian terror attacks in Israel is for the Palestinian leadership to immediately cease anti-Israel incitement.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met on Wednesday evening in Berlin with German Chancellor Angela Merkel to discuss the wave of Palestinian terror attacks Israel has been experiencing in the past weeks, during a state visit that coincided with events marking 50 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
“I come to Berlin at a difficult time,” Netanyahu said at a joint press conference with Merkel, pointing to some 40 terrorist attacks, “in which Palestinian terrorists have tried to murder Israelis with knives, with axes, with guns, even with cars.” Netanyahu pointed out that the terrorists’ objective was clear and simple: “to destroy the State of Israel altogether,” and therefore they kill Jews – not because of frustration or the peace process, as some would like to claim.
The Israeli premier pointed to the Palestinian leadership’s incitement and lies as the root of the problem, again accusing Palestinian Authority (PA) head Mahmoud Abbas of joining forces with Islamic terror elements.
“Not only do the Palestinians refuse to negotiate. They also refuse to condemn terrorism. It’s even worse because President Abbas has joined the Islamists in inciting the recent waves of violence. He and his spokesmen… both in the Palestinian Authority and Fatah, have said that Israel is intent on violating the status quo on the Temple Mount. That is false. We maintain the status quo and it’s our firm policy to continue to maintain the status quo of prayers for Muslims and visits by Jews, Christians and others,” he clarified.
Israel maintains “the sanctity of all holy sites, and in the Middle East where militant Shi’ites and militant Sunnis are blowing each other’s mosques to smithereens and destroying ancient heritage sites, Israel is the only guarantor in Jerusalem and elsewhere in our country for the sanctity of holy sites for all faiths,” he stated. “Unfortunately, Abbas has said that he welcomes, and I quote, ‘every drop of blood spilled in Jerusalem.’ End quote. He has not denounced a single one of these dozens of terrorist attacks on Israelis over the last month,” Netanyahu charged. “If we want to have peace, we have to stop terror,” he stated, saying that “it’s important that the international community demand of President Abbas to stop the incitement and stop spreading lies about the Jewish state and about Israel’s policies.”
He also expressed his “deepest appreciation” for Germany’s commitment to Israel’s security.
Abbas Must Condemn “Everything Constituting the Support of Terror”
Merkel said Israel and the Palestinians both “need to make a contribution” in order to restore calm after weeks of terror and violence. She urged Netanyahu to rethink his policy on the Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria, calling them “counterproductive” to a two-state solution, and in a sense buying into Palestinian propaganda that frustration over the existence of “settlements” is the cause of Palestinian violence.
“I have spoken out against them many times and if it is about doing everything possible right now to calm the situation, then I think all sides need to make a contribution,” she added. She also said Israel has an “obligation” to protect its own citizens and said the Palestinians must condemn “everything constituting the support of terror. One cannot have open talks with Israel if this does not happen.” ”
“Germany’s relationship with Israel is unique. We will continue to protect Israel and always stand up for Israel’s right to exist. It is part of our raison d’état,” she stated.
By: Max Gelber, United with Israel AP contributed to this report.
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