Tel Aviv (dpa) – At the start of his short visit, Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas assured Israel of solidarity, while pushing for a ceasefire in the conflict with Islam Hamas. During a meeting with Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi at the international airport near Tel Aviv, he said: “The fact that we can see that Hamas, since we arrived here in Tel Aviv, has already fired rockets against the south of Israel an indication of the gravity of the situation in which the people of Israel find themselves. “
Maas stressed that Israel has “the right to defend itself against such massive attacks.” It must be able to protect its citizens “as long as there are states and governments in this region that threaten Israel with destruction.” Germany will continue to “make contributions” to this effect. Ashkenazi told his German guest, “I thank you for visiting us right now, at a time when rockets are falling.” He added that no state could accept the bombing of Hamas. “Israel must protect itself and its citizens.”
Maas will also hold talks with President Mahmoud Abbas in the Palestinian territories. On May 10, massive rocket attacks by Palestinian militants from the Gaza Strip began. Israel responded by bombing targets in Palestinian territory controlled by Islamist Hamas.