The visits followed the previous trip to Israel by Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, who was the first European minister to arrive in the country since the beginning of the escalation on 10 May.
Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi gave a warm greeting to his German counterpart Heiko Maas amid ongoing rocket fire from Gaza. Ashkenazi also expressed deep appreciation to German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Frank-Walter Steinmeier for having stood by Israel’s side “from ‘Day One’” in “all that relates to supporting Israel, its right for self-defense, and the condemnations of Hamas fire.”
While briefing Maas on Jerusalem’s responsibility to defend its people, Minister Ashkenazi also stressed persisting humanitarian efforts undertaken on behalf of Gaza residents. “We are differentiating between Hamas and the residents that have been taken hostage in this conflict,” he said, including the delivery of medical equipment and fuel supplies.
The German top diplomat, for his part, reaffirmed that his nation has “emphasized that Israel has the right to self-defense, and Israel is now making use of that.”
Outlining Berlin’s conviction that “This right includes preventing the facilities from which attacks on Israeli targets originate from continuing to operate,” Maas added that, “This also means that one naturally also tries to prevent future attacks through the self-defense measures that have been arranged, and also includes the infrastructure that is there for future attacks or planned military actions and reactions so that no risk goes from them in the future either,” stressing that, “In this respect, we see that what Israel is doing as being covered by the right to self-defense.”
The Foreign Ministers of the Czech Republic and Slovakia also came to Israel in the show of international support for Operation Guardian of the Walls. They later joined their Israeli and German counterparts for a field visit to residential areas in the central city of Petach Tikva damaged in direct strikes of Hamas rocket fire.
“Slovakia is a friend and Israel is in need, therefore, I want to say that we understand that for Israel there is no other option but to protect itself against coward attacks and rockets coming from Hamas” said Slovak Foreign Minister Ivan Korčok, insisting, “This must be stopped.”
Czech Foreign Minister Jakub Kulhánek said that while he obviously hoped for “this reign of terror” to end soon, that he nevertheless was compelled to “state in no uncertain terms that Israel has every right to defend its citizens.”
There were ongoing rocket attacks from Gaza throughout the 3 Foreign Minister’s visits.
While the West largely supported Israel’s battle to protect the lives of its citizens, the Islamic Republic of Iran naturally supported the Muslim Hamas and PIJ terror groups in Gaza.
“They fire Qassam and Sejjil rockets into the heart of the Israeli capital,” praised Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRCG) Supreme Leader, Major General Hossein Salami, during a rally in Tehran.
Going on to urge the Palestinian Islamists to fight to the death in jihad against the Jewish State, Gen. Salami proclaimed, “We are with you when we accompany the bodies of your martyrs to heaven. We will be with you until the end. This promise is eternal and lasting.”