German, Dutch Leaders Express Strong Support for Israel’s Right to Defend Itself

German Chancellor Angela Merkel gestures during a media briefing at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, South Africa, Feb. 6, 2020. Photo: Reuters / Siphiwe Sibeko.

i24 News – In separate calls Monday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the leaders of Germany and the Netherlands expressed their strong support for Israel’s right to defend itself against a daily barrage of rockets fired by terrorist groups based in the Gaza Strip.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel “sharply condemned the continued rocket attacks from Gaza on Israel and assured the prime minister of the German government’s solidarity,” a statement after the call said.

The statement added that Merkel told Netanyahu that given the civilian loss of life on both sides, “the chancellor expressed her hope that the fighting will end as soon as possible.”

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte also spoke with Netanyahu on Monday, with his office saying that Rutte expressed his “unreserved support for Israel’s right to defend itself in light of the rocket fire from Gaza.”

Netanyahu thanked Merkel and Rutte for “their unreserved support for Israel’s right to defend itself against the rocket attacks from Gaza” and reportedly thanked Merkel for the German government’s actions against a spike in antisemitism in Germany amid the violent conflict between Israel and Hamas.

Synagogues have been vandalized as well as Israeli flags burned and antisemitic slogans shouted and written on banners at pro-Palestinian demonstrations in German cities.

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