German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel warned Israel on Wednesday that it faced growing frustration in Europe amid concern for the future of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, APA reports quoting Reuters.
Gabriel adopted a markedly different tone to that of U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, who on a visit to Israel last week embraced President Donald Trump’s Dec. 6 announcement that his administration recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and that it will move the U.S. Embassy to the city.
“With regard to the Palestinians and the Iran question the Americans are taking your side more clearly than ever before. But is this really only a good thing?” Gabriel said in Tel Aviv.
Citing past successes of U.S. diplomacy in the region, he asked: “Can the Americans still play such a role if they take sides so openly? Will others try to step into their shoes?”
In a thinly veiled threat about cutting off aid, he said some members of Israel’s cabinet were “explicitly against the two-state solution” but that such a solution “has always been the foundation of our engagement for Israeli-Palestinian peace and for the large amount of funding” from Germany and Europe.
“These – at best mixed – signals do not go unnoticed in Europe, where there is clearly growing frustration with Israel’s actions,” he told an Israeli security conference. Gabriel cited disagreements even within his own Social Democratic Party about what some see as “unfair” treatment of the Palestinians.