German Chancellor Angela Merkel in a telephonic conversation with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu has condemned the continued rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip and expressed solidarity with Israel, the German government said on Monday.
“The chancellor strongly condemned the ongoing rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza and reassured the prime minister of the German government’s solidarity. She stressed Israel’s right to self-defense against attacks.
In light of the fact that many civilians were killed on both sides, the chancellor expressed hope that the hostilities would stop as soon as possible,” the cabinet said.
Merkel added that the German government would continue to take decisive measures against the protests across the country that “incite hatred and anti-Semitism,” the statement read.
In turn, Netanyahu’s office also issued a statement, according to which the prime minister expressed gratitude to the German leader over her support of Israel’s self-defense right.
“Prime Minister Netanyahu has had a phone call with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who confirmed her firm support for Israel’s self-defense right.
The prime minister thanked the chancellor for her government’s moves against anti-Semitic entities in Germany, and stressed that Hamas is committing two war crimes simultaneously, including the launch of rockets among the civilian population and the use of Gaza residents as human shields,” Netanyahu’s spokesman Ofir Gendelman wrote on Telegram.
German Media Defends Israel
Earlier, Anadolu Agency reported that Germany’s international broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW) has restrained the critical reporting of Israel citing the country’s special responsibility for the Jewish state due to the Holocaust.
DW’s editorial board has banned its reporters and editors from covering the Israeli government’s crimes of “apartheid” and persecution of Palestinians, in a new reporting guide sent to the staff amid recent escalation in the region.
The two-page internal document, which has been leaked and shared on social media, has underlined that the Holocaust’s legacy and Germany’s special responsibility towards Israel remain cornerstones of the country’s constitution and its foreign policy.
“As DW, we never question Israel’s right to exist as a state or allow people in our coverage to do so,” the broadcaster’s Editor-in-Chief Manuela Kasper-Claridge told the staff.
“We never refer to an Israeli ‘apartheid’ or an ‘apartheid regime’ in Israel. We also avoid referring to ‘colonialism’ or ‘colonialists’,” the document noted.
“We respect freedom of speech and opinion and people’s right to criticize any of the sides involved. However, criticism of Israel becomes antisemitism when it attempts to tarnish, discredit and delegitimize the state of Israel or Jewish people and culture per se,” it added.
Deutsche Welle has long been criticized for its biased reporting on the Israeli government’s aggression against Palestinians in the conflicted territories.