|Concern about the situation in the Middle East
Against the background of the escalating situation in the Middle East, the UN Security Council convened on 14 November for an emergency session. Israel launched a military offensive in Gaza by killing the Hamas military commander Ahmed Jabari. Previously, Israel was hit by more than 130 missiles launched from the Gaza Strip. Three people were killed after a missile attack in the Israeli town of Kiryat Malachi on 15 November. Many others were killed in the Gaza Strip as a result of Israeli attacks. There were reports in the evening that two missiles launched in the Gaza Strip had been aimed at Tel Aviv.
There is worldwide concern about these developments. Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle issued the following statement on the fringes of an EU meeting in Paris on 15 November:
It goes without saying that Israel has the right to defend itself and to protect its own population from missile attacks from the Gaza Strip. Now everyone has to play their part in bringing about de-escalation. All involved sides must understand that we have to prevent the situation from deteriorating further.
I call on them to show prudence and take action to help de-escalate tensions.
In the evening, Westerwelle spoke on the phone with Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman about the situation. During the conversation, Foreign Minister Westerwelle expressed his great concern in the light of the violent clashes in Gaza and southern Israel.
The day before, Westerwelle warned of a “new spiral of violence”. Meanwhile, at their emergency session on 14 November the members of the UN Security Council called for an end to the violence, describing de-escalation as vital. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the Palestinian missile attack and called on Israel to react in a measured fashion. He immediately spoke on the telephone with Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu and Egypt’s President Morsi about developments.