Germany won’t support sanctions on Israel over W.Bank annexation, official says

Berlin also will not recognize Palestinian independence, despite stressing move would put strain on relations, source says ahead of upcoming visit by German Foreign Minister Maas

Itamar Eichner|
Germany will not support sanctions over Israel’s planned unilateral annexation of parts of the West Bank or recognize Palestinian independence, a diplomatic official in Jerusalem said Monday.
  • Follow Ynetnews on Facebook and Twitter

  • However, the official stressed that annexation would likely put a strain on the relations between Jerusalem and Berlin, and Germany's willingness to support Israel on the international scene.
    2 View gallery
    אנגלה מרקל ובנימין נתניהו
    אנגלה מרקל ובנימין נתניהו
    German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
    (Photo: Amille Salman)
    Germany is set in July to take the presidency of two key institutions, the Council of the European Union for six months, as well as the UN Security Council for a month, meaning, Berlin will head two major international forums just as they will need to respond to Israeli actions, should Jerusalem move forward with its intention to apply sovereignty onto the contested territory.
    German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas is expected to arrive in Israel Wednesday, likely to warn the government of the move's consequences.
    Maas will meet with Netanyahu, Defense Minister Benny Gantz, and Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi as well as with Palestinian and Jordanian officials.
    2 View gallery
    הייקו מאס שר החוץ של גרמניה
    הייקו מאס שר החוץ של גרמניה
    German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas
    (Photo: EPA)
    Diplomatic sources said that Maas, speaking in the name of a number of European foreign ministers, will try to convince Israel to avoid taking any unilateral actions, chiefly annexation.
    The European Union has already conducted several hearings on possible sanctions to try and deter the Jewish State from the notion. Some of the sanctions, mainly financial ones, do not require a majority among the 27-member body.
    If Israel does go through with annexing parts of the West Bank, at least eight European nations are mulling officially recognizing a Palestinian state.
    Some of the nations believed to go through with such an initiative include France, Luxembourg, Belgium, Ireland, and Spain.
    The commenter agrees to the privacy policy of Ynet News and agrees not to submit comments that violate the terms of use, including incitement, libel and expressions that exceed the accepted norms of freedom of speech.