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Tuesday, November 20, 2012
PM Netanyahu Meets with German FM Westerwelle

PM Netanyahu Meets with German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle
(Communicated by the Prime Minister's Media Adviser)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, this morning (Tuesday, 20 November 2012),
in his Jerusalem office, met with German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle.
The two issued the following statements at the start of their meeting:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: "Iím very pleased to see you again,
Guido. Youíre an old friend and Germany has been constant, supportive,
clear-sighted and upright in support and we appreciate it. As we speak right
now, Israelís cities are bombarded. There were rocket attacks on Beíer Sheva
http://www.idf.il/1283-17607-EN/Dover.aspx
Hamas and the other terror organizations in Gaza have no compunction
whatsoever at firing on our civilians
http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Terrorism-+Obstacle+to+Peace/Hamas+war+against+Israel/Israel_under_fire-November_2012.htm
while hiding behind civilians
http://www.idf.il/1283-17668-en/Dover.aspx
We do the very opposite. For us, every time there are civilian casualties,
thatís an operational failure. For them, every time there are civilian
casualties, thatís an operational success. So thereís a marked distinction
and the people of Israel canít long tolerate this kind of situation where
our cities are under constant rocket attacks. I prefer a diplomatic
solution. I hope that we can get one but if not, we have every right to
defend ourselves with other means and we shall use them. I believe that
Germany can have a constructive role in seeking an end to this conflict in a
long-term arrangement such that these terror weapons are not introduced into
the Gaza strip. And I hope to discuss this with you, among other matters.
As you know, we seek a diplomatic unwinding to this, through the discussions
of cease-fire. But is the firing continues we will have to take broader
action, and we wonít hesitate to do so."

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle: Thank you, Mr. prime Minister. Iím
here to underline that Germany stands by our friends in Israel, and Israel
has every right to defend itself and protect their own citizens against
these missile attacks from Gaza into your country, Prime Minister. Of course
we now have to consider and discuss how a cease-fire is possible. But there
is one key condition for everything else, and that is the stop of the
missile attacks against Israel. This is a clear message, not only of the
German Government but this is also the message what the European Foreign
Minister yesterday sent out. We will do our best and we welcome what you
just mentioned, that you seek and work on a diplomatic solution thereís
something with which we 100% agree. But now, of course itís also important
to see that Egypt plays a key role. Germany is ready to help and to support
and we will do our best in the interest of our friends in Israel. Letís do
our best that a cease-fire is possible. Thank you."

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