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Israelis, Palestinians have no alternative other than return to talks — German FM

July 15, 2014, 8:30 UTC+3 BERLIN

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier says the logic of violence is in no one's interests

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German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier

© ITAR-TASS/Denis Vyshynsky

BERLIN, July 15. /ITAR-TASS/. Israel and Palestine have no alternative other than returning to the negotiating table to prevent further escalation of tensions in the Middle East, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said in Amman on Monday after talks with his Jordanian counterpart Nasser Jauda.

“Hamas must immediately stop rocket attacks on Israel, this is the first thing,” Steinmeier said. “We need to urgently find ways out of the spiral of violence. I am saying that while realizing that the solution is probably farther from us than a year ahead.”

“In my opinion, in the long term, for Israel and Palestine, there is no alternative other than returning to the negotiating table,” he said. “If there’s no prospect of a peaceful solution reached as a result of talks on the basis of establishing two states, the logic of violence will win, and this cannot be in our interests.”

Steinmeier emphasized that in such a situation, Germany cannot adopt the role of a mediator in Mideast settlement. “The talk is first of all about finding approaches to stop violence in talks with friends who pursue the same interests as we do,” he explained.

“This will not be easy,” the German minister said. He said politicians responsible for making decisions should unite into “a coalition of reason” for “events of the past days not to continue endlessly".

Israeli-Palestinian relations grew sour after June 12, 2014, when three Jewish teenagers were abducted in the West Bank. Later the teenagers were found killed. Israel accused militants of the Palestinian militant Islamist group Hamas (Islamic Resistance Movement), which controls the Gaza Strip, of committing the crime.

On July 8, 2014, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announced the start of the operation Protective Edge in the Gaza Strip against Hamas militants. The IDF made strikes on 50 targets in the Gaza Strip, most of which were launching platforms for rockets. 

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