Germany protests Israeli settlement policy by canceling state visit

JIM HOLLANDER

(FILE) - A file picture dated 25 February 2014 shows German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) look at each other during their joint press conference in Jerusalem, Israel. According to reports from 13 February 2017, Germany has cancelled high level meeting with Israel scheduled to be held on 10 May 2017, an Israeli government spokesperson confirmed. The official reason was given as conflicting events in 'the context of the German presidency of the G20.'

Germany protests Israeli settlement policy by canceling state visit


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A meeting between the governments of Germany and Israel scheduled to take place in May has been canceled.

The government spokesman in Berlin said that the meeting was merely postponed, while the Israeli spokesman spoke about “schedule constraints” for the German side.

Berlin is expressing its objection to Israel’s West Bank occupation policy, Haaretz reports.

Last week, Israel’s Parliament (Knesset) legalized 4,000 West Bank settlements built arbitrarily on private Palestinian land, against a 40-year legal precedent. The bill forces Palestinians to relinquish their property, and Israel’s Attorney General says the bill violates the Geneva Convention.

Before their meeting on Wednesday, even President Trump said that the construction of settlements was not conducive to peace. Israel’s argument is founded on biblical and historical narratives.

On the back of a close partnership with the Donald Trump administration, an emboldened Israeli government is shunning its traditional European partners, who see settlements as an obstacle to peace. Since President Trump took office, Netanyahu’s administration has authorized the construction of over 6,000 settler homes.

Over half a million Jewish settlers live in the territories Israel occupied in 1967 and where over 2,6 million Palestinians still live.

 

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