PM leads ministerial delegation to Germany
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In talks with Samantha Power, Netanyahu screens video showing Palestinian incitement

PM leads ministerial delegation to Germany

Netanyahu will meet Merkel to discuss Mideast regional developments; 4 senior ministers set for talks with counterparts

Raoul Wootliff is the The Times of Israel's political correspondent.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a joint press conference with the German chancellor at the chancellery in Berlin on October 21, 2015 (AFP PHOTO/TOBIAS SCHWARZ)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a joint press conference with the German chancellor at the chancellery in Berlin on October 21, 2015 (AFP PHOTO/TOBIAS SCHWARZ)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu headed to Berlin on Monday afternoon ahead of talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel in the framework of a series of government-to-government meetings between the Israeli and German governments.

Netanyahu was accompanied on the two-day-trip by Infrastructure and Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz, Housing Minister Yoav Galant, Immigrant Absorption Minister Ze’ev Elkin and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked. The four will meet with their German counterparts during the talks.

Netanyahu and Merkel will meet Tuesday at the German chancellery and are expected to discuss regional developments in the Middle East, including the Syrian refugee crisis and international efforts to restart the Israel-Palestinian peace talks.

Ahead of the trip, Netanyahu met Monday morning with US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power, currently visiting Israel, to discuss the ongoing wave of violence between Israelis and Palestinians.

Netanyahu screened a video for Power showing instances of Palestinian incitement in schools, official media and speeches from leaders, according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office.

Benjamin Netanyahu, right, meeting with Samantha Power in Jerusalem on February 15, 2016. (Kobi Gideon/GPO)
Benjamin Netanyahu, right, meeting with Samantha Power in Jerusalem on February 15, 2016. (Kobi Gideon/GPO)

Netanyahu also held separate meetings Monday morning with the foreign ministers of Iceland and Norway, discussing bilateral ties and raising some of the same issues with them as he did with Power, the statement added.

Netanyahu and Merkel last met in October as part of the ongoing G2G cooperation between Germany and Israel.

During that meeting, also held in Berlin, Merkel emphasized her nation’s responsibility for the Holocaust, after Netanyahu stirred controversy by claiming that a Palestinian leader gave Hitler the idea of exterminating Jews.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel address a press conference at the chancellery in Berlin, October 21, 2015. (AFP/TOBIAS SCHWARZ)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel address a press conference at the chancellery in Berlin, October 21, 2015. (AFP/TOBIAS SCHWARZ)

“Germany abides by its responsibility for the Holocaust,” Merkel told Netanyahu.

Ahead of last year’s visit, Netanyahu sparked an uproar by suggesting that the Palestinian Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin al-Husseini, a noted Nazi sympathizer, persuaded Hitler to carry out the Holocaust, in which six million European Jews were systematically exterminated.

Netanyahu had been speaking in the context of enduring Palestinian accusations — the mufti was one of the first to peddle such allegations against Jews in Mandatory Palestine — that Israel was seeking to change arrangements at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem to bolster Jewish access.

The allegations of Israeli changes at the Temple Mount were seen as the trigger for a recent wave of attacks against Israelis in and around Jerusalem. Israel has repeatedly denied allegations that it wishes to alter the status quo on the Mount, which houses the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and is holy to both Jews and Muslims. As per the status quo, Jews may visit the Temple Mount but not pray there.

Since October, an ongoing wave of Palestinian terror attacks has killed over 25 Israelis, as well as an Eritrean, an American and a Palestinian bystander.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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