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Germany's Baerbock says fight is with Hamas, not civilians

October 25, 2023

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has emphasized Israel's right to self-defense. However, she said it must wage its fight against the militant group Hamas within the framework of international law.

Annalena Baerbock making a speech at the UN
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock addressed the United Nations Security Council in New York on TuesdayImage: Thomas Koehler/Photothek/IMAGO

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has underlined Israel's right to self-defense, adding that the fight against Hamas should be "carried out in line with humanitarian law."

Hamas's terrorist attacks on October 7 in Israel near the Gaza border killed more than 1,400 people and left the country in shock. The subsequent Israeli airstrikes on Gaza have killed 5,791 people so far, according to the latest figures from Gaza's Hamas-run health ministry.

Hamas is considered a terrorist organization in Germany and by the European Union as a whole, as well as by Israel and the United States.

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What the foreign minister said at the UN

Addressing the United Nations Security Council in New York, Baerbock stressed the need for empathy. To find a way out of the crisis, she said: "We must seek to understand each other's pain.

"Imagine what it would feel like if our own sister were abducted, if our child were hit by a missile." 

Baerbock stressed that, given Germany's responsibility for the Holocaust, Israel's security and right to defend itself were "non-negotiable."

However, she added, addressing the plight of the Palestinians "in no way contradicts this clear and unwavering stance."  

"The fight is against Hamas and not against civilians. That's why it is crucial for us that this fight must be carried out in line with humanitarian law, with the greatest possible consideration for civilians in Gaza."

Israel steps up airstrikes across Gaza

Baerbock said Hamas was "playing with human suffering, using women and children in Gaza as human shields, hiding its weapons under supermarkets, apartment blocks, even hospitals — with obvious intent."

"Their plan is to fan the flames of hatred and violence. To spark regional escalation. To tear us apart as a world community."

rc/rt (AFP, dpa)

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