German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has emphasized Israel’s right to self-defence before the UN Security Council – but also urged the country to comply with international humanitarian law.
“The fight is against Hamas and not against civilians. That’s why it is crucial for us that this fight must be carried out in line with humanitarian law, with the greatest possible consideration for civilians in Gaza,” Baerbock told a high-level UN Security Council meeting in New York on Tuesday.
The lives of all civilians are equally important, she said. The bystanders in Gaza must be helped with pauses in fighting for “humanitarian windows.”
Baerbock stressed that Israel, like every state in the world, has the right to defend itself against terrorism within the framework of international law. The minister also referred to Germany’s historical responsibility in view of the Holocaust.
“‘Never again’ … to me as a German, that means that we will not rest knowing that the grandchildren of Holocaust survivors are now being held hostage by terrorists in Gaza,” the minister said.
In view of the suffering population in the Gaza Strip, Baerbock reiterated her call for a pause in the fighting in the crisis area – “humanitarian windows” are needed.
There is a dispute in EU countries about the extent to which European nations would support the UN demand for a ceasefire, according to information given to dpa. The use of the word “pauses” in the plural tense could show that EU nations were not calling on Israel to halt its fight against Hamas.
Germany is currently not a member of the 15-member UN Security Council.