Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock was received by her counterpart Israel Katz on her fifth visit to Israel since the terrorist attack by the Islamist Hamas on October 7th. Katz thanked her for Germany’s continued support of Israel, his office said afterwards.

“We have focused on the need to return all hostages and defeat the terrorist organization Hamas,” Katz said. They also discussed ways to ensure that humanitarian aid does not fall into the hands of Hamas. He also told Baerbock that the UN Palestinian relief agency UNRWA “can no longer be part of the aid under any circumstances and that an alternative must be found.”

The conversation in Jerusalem may also have been about the Israeli army’s announced ground offensive against Hamas in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. The Green politician has announced that she will once again raise the humanitarian situation of the civilian population in Gaza. The Federal Foreign Minister is calling for more aid deliveries for the people in Gaza.

In the past few days, humanitarian aid deliveries have been made “more difficult,” Baerbock said the day before during a joint appearance with the Foreign Minister of the Palestinian Territories, Riad Malki, in Berlin.

Meeting with Netanyahu and Lapid

On Wednesday afternoon, Baerbock also met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and opposition leader Jair Lapid for separate talks. A meeting with President Izchak Herzog is planned for Thursday. The possible ground offensive and the humanitarian situation in Gaza are also likely to play an important role in these talks.

Baerbock has called on Israel to provide protective corridors so that the civilian population in Rafah can reach safety. She also again demanded that Israel allow more humanitarian aid to be delivered to the Gaza Strip.

During Malki’s visit, she emphasized Israel’s right to self-defense against Hamas terror, but at the same time underlined that Israel had a duty to respect international humanitarian law. This Friday, Baerbock is expected at the Munich Security Conference. The Gaza war will also be one of the main topics there, alongside the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine.