German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier is set to arrive in Amman tomorrow for talks with the Jordanian government, before visiting Jerusalem and Ramallah for meetings with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
Steinmeier is traveling to the region in a bid to broker a ceasefire between the Israel Defense Forces and Hamas and other terrorist groups in Gaza. Germany officially doesn’t have any contact with Hamas, which it considers a terrorist organization.
Although he is not scheduled to travel to Cairo, Steinmeier will be in contact with the Egyptian government, which, in the past, has been instrumental in reaching ceasefire agreements between Israel and Hamas.
“Hamas’s rocket attacks against Israel have set in motion a spiral of violence that appears to be hardly unstoppable,” Steinmeier says in Berlin, on the eve of his departure to Jordan. “On both sides, people live in constant fear of the next attack. The images of the many innocent victims are hard to bear. We cannot remain indifferent to this tragic development — not only out of concern for Israel’s security, but also because the possible consequences of further escalation are hardly foreseeable.”
Hopes for a resumption of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process have become a distant prospect, Steinmeier adds. “Nevertheless,” he continues, “precisely in this situation we need to make contact with the decision makers. This is the only way approaches to a de-escalation can be found,” he concludes.