Germany on Wednesday stressed that it is up to Israel to decide when to have a cease-fire in Gaza following UN calls for a truce in the aftermath of the Al-Ahli hospital bombing, which left hundreds dead, including many children.
“We are in a situation in which a terrorist organization has not only attacked Israel, but is also continuing to attack it, and Israel has the right to defend itself against this terrorist attack and must do so in order to protect its own population,” government spokesman Wolfgang Buechner said at a routine press briefing in Berlin.
“So it is now up to the state of Israel to assess when this terrorist threat is no longer so great that Israel can stop its defensive actions there,” he added.
Buechner’s comments came in the wake of calls by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who urged an “immediate humanitarian cease-fire” in the Israel-Hamas war.
Speaking in Beijing only hours after the lethal bombing of the al-Ahli Arab hospital in Gaza, Guterres said that Hamas “attacks cannot justify the collective punishment of the Palestinian people.”