During a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is currently visiting Israel, and Prime Minister Netanyahu, the Israeli leader was asked regarding an attack carried out by the Israeli Air Force which allegedly took place in Lebanon near the border with Syria. “we will do what it takes to protect the citizens of Israel”, said Netanyahu.

Merkel and Netanyahu hold press conference in Jerusalem.

Merkel and Netanyahu hold press conference in Jerusalem. Photo Credit: AP

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who arrived last night (Monday) for a tour in Israel, held a press conference this afternoon at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem. During the press conference, Prime Minister Netanyahu was asked a question regarding his stance on the Israeli attack allegedly carried out at the Lebanese-Syrian border last night.

“I don’t intend to speak about things that people say we’ve done or haven’t done”, said Netanyahu, adding that, “The State of Israel does what it takes in order to protect her citizens”.

During the press conference, both of the leaders addressed the negotiations with the Palestinians since last July, “I believe that there is a simple formula: two states for two nations that mutually recognize each other. I ask for a demilitarized Palestinian state that recognizes the existence of a Jewish state, just as I ask the Jewish nation to recognize the state of the Palestinian nation”, said Netanyahu.

Merkel stressed the importance of the recognition of the Palestinians in the Jewish state and vice versa, “We are speaking about a framework agreement that addresses the implementation of the two state vision. In negotiations, both sides will discuss the relevant issues tied with the recognition of a Jewish state, and I have no intention of getting involved in their efforts to reach a compromise”.

“It is clear that mutual recognition must occur at the end of the negotiations”, said Merkel adding that she will do all in her power to see that the efforts by American Secretary of State John Kerry bear fruit.

“Germany does not believe in boycotting”

The Chancellor also addressed the issue of the boycotting of Israeli goods that are produced over the Green Line clarifying that, “Germany does not support the boycott. We have clear laws regarding products and we will stand by the European Union in that we do not believe that boycotting goods will help to promote peace”.

Prime Minister Netanyahu added, “Boycotts distance peace. We, the Jewish people, who have suffered boycotts, are not willing to take this discrimination. It is unjust to boycott Israel—the only democracy in the Middle East that deals with very difficult situations. We have a real legacy of peace.

“We could not allow a country to threaten us”

During the press conference, the leaders also addressed the current nuclear negotiations between the world powers and Iran, “Iran continues to install fear and makes use of its emissaries like Hezbollah. Iran continues to pursue its goal of achieving a nuclear weapon, as well as intercontinental ballistic missiles. The missiles in Iran’s possession are meant to reach Europe, to Germany and even to the United States. An meanwhile, Iran continues its plans to destroy Israel”, said Netanyahu.  

“If Iran maintains its nuclear abilities—do not be mistaken, it will use its weapon. We see what goes on in a different part of the world and we cannot allow ourselves to see the weapon replicated and to see the rise of a regime that will threaten the entire world”, said Netanyahu.

“Iran does not need to enrich any more uranium for its civilian core. There are many countries around the world that use nuclear energy”, stated Merkel. According to the Chancellor, she and Netanyahu have a difference of opinion on the matter. “We spoke about limiting the enrichment—I believe that on this topic we will succeed but it will be difficult, and it is always worthwhile to carry out negotiations instead of not and not to allow the nuclear program in Iran to develop”.

The Chancellor and the Prime Minister held the press conference after holding their annual meeting earlier in the morning between the Israeli and German governments. Sixteen of the German government ministers participated in the meeting, who traveled together with Merkel for her annual visit to Israel. During the meeting the groups discussed plans for the celebration of 50 years of relations between Israel and Germany, which will be marked next year.