Netanyahu affirms Israel’s defence rights in talks with British and German foreign ministers

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Benjamin Netanyahu

17th April 2024 – (Jerusalem) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated Israel’s right to defend itself during discussions with British Foreign Secretary David Cameron and German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock in Jerusalem on Wednesday. The meetings took place against a backdrop of escalating tensions following recent missile and drone strikes by Iran on Israeli targets.

During the talks, Netanyahu firmly stated Israel’s stance on self-defence, a position underscored in an official release from his office. The statement comes at a critical juncture as international calls grow louder for both Israel and Iran to de-escalate their aggressive postures to prevent further regional instability.

German Foreign Minister Baerbock, addressing the delicate situation, advocated for restraint and responsible action by all parties involved. She highlighted the potential consequences of further escalations, which could negatively impact not only the security of Israel but also the lives of hostages currently held by Hamas, the beleaguered residents of Gaza, the Iranian populace, and other nations in the Middle East.

On his part, British Foreign Secretary Cameron, speaking to the media in Jerusalem, emphasised the need for Israel to manage its responses in a manner that avoids exacerbating the situation. He articulated the UK’s position, urging Israel to adopt measures that are “smart as well as tough” in handling the tensions.

Netanyahu, reflecting on the discussions during a subsequent cabinet meeting, acknowledged the advice and suggestions from the visiting diplomats but maintained a resolute tone. “I appreciate it. But I want to make it clear — we will make our own decisions, and the state of Israel will do everything necessary to defend itself,” he declared.