The two largest parties in Germany reached a coalition agreement on Wednesday. The agreement explicitly criticizes Israeli settlements in the West Bank, claiming that they harm the prospects of a two-state solution.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel Photo Credit: Olaf Kosinsky/

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative Christian Democratic Union party reached on Wednesday a coalition agreement with the Social Democratic Party after more than four months of negotiations. The deal is the first German coalition agreement that explicitly criticizes Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

“Israel’s current settlement policy in the West Bank violates international law and is not supported by us because it impedes a two-state solution,” the agreement between the two parties reportedly states.

German media outlets reported that Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel played a major role in achieving the agreement, which is expected to be signed in the next few days. The left-wing Social Democratic Party will head several ministries including the Foreign Ministry and Justice Ministry.

Merkel won the election in September, giving her the opportunity to build a coalition and serve her fourth term as chancellor. For the first time in five decades, an extreme right-wing party passed the required threshold for entering the Bundestag and became the third-largest party in the German parliament.