Germany Might Serve as ‘Buffer’ to Punitive EU Measures After Annexation, Israel Believes

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrive for a news conference in Berlin, Germany, June 4, 2018. Photo: Reuters / Axel Schmidt.

In the event of a partial annexation of the West Bank, Israel believes that Germany would serve a diplomatic “buffer,” moderating possible punitive measures from the European Union.

The Israeli news site N12 reported on Monday that while some EU countries might want to take a hard line against Israel if it went ahead with annexation, such imposing sanctions or recognizing a Palestinian state, Germany would likely not back such steps.

Moreover, the date set by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to begin discussions on annexation — July 1 — is also the day Germany will receive the EU presidency, putting it in a good position to oppose extreme measures against Israel.

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One reason for the German foreign minister’s planned visit to Israel this week is believed to get a sense of “the lay of the land” on the annexation issue.

Although Germany may decide to be a “shock absorber” for Israel in the event of annexation, it is also reportedly deeply concerned about the effect of annexation on the stability of neighboring Jordan, where a majority of the population is of Palestinian descent.



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