Dozens of Palestinian protestors gathered Tuesday outside Germany's Foreign Ministry in Berlin in order to slam what they characterized as a pro-Israel stance adopted by the local government.
The demonstrators demanded that Berlin endorse the upcoming Palestinian statehood bid.
At this time, Germany is one of only three countries that appear set to oppose the Palestinian move at the Security Council.
The protest, organized by the Palestinian Authority's mission in the German capital, included chants in favor of the two-state solution, an end to Israeli occupation and recognition of Palestinian sovereignty.
Pressing Merkel (Photo: Zach Goldberger)The PA's senior representative in Berlin, Salah Abdul Shafi, told Ynet that "everything is working according to plan."
For some protest participants, an independent Palestinian state is merely a prelude to their return to what they view as their historical homeland. Ali, 18, and Ahmed, 19, who carried large Palestinian flags, said they are determined to return to the territories left by their grandparents in 1948. Both were born in Germany and lived there all their lives but said they feel as foreigners in their home country.
"My home is northern Palestine, what you refer to as northern Israel," Ahmed said. "My grandpa told me that one day we shall return there, to a village that used to exist near the community you call Shlomi today. I'm certain we'll return at some point, even though the village no longer exists."
The small protest was held peacefully for about an hour, with members of the radical leftist Die LInke party in attendance. Some 150,000 Palestinians reside in Germany at this time, with about 30,000 of them living in Berlin.
Behind the scenes, Germany is leading a small camp aiming to prevent the Palestinians from approaching the Security Council. Chancellor Angela Merkel said Monday that Germany's position on the PA's statehood bid had not been declared yet given the effort to formulate a united European stance on the matter.
However, Germany took Israel's side in the past six months and was among the first parties to make it clear to the Palestinians that it opposes unilateral moves. As noted, Berlin is expected to vote against the Palestinian statehood bid should it be brought up to the Security Council.