Germany on Thursday became the first European country to offer direct military aid to Israel while vowing to crack down on supporters of Hamas terrorists at home.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz highlighted Germany’s historic responsibility for Israel’s security to explain the offer, which has already seen the Jewish state request munitions for its warships and military attack drones.
AP reports that the Defense Ministry said it had accepted an Israeli request to use up to two of the five Heron TP combat drones currently leased by the German military and already in Israel for training German military personnel.
Defense Minister Boris Pistorius noted in Brussels that Israel had also requested ammunition for its warships, a request which will now be discussed.
“More than 1,000 Israeli citizens were killed in these terrorist acts. Thousands of them have been seriously injured and are fighting for their lives in Israeli hospitals. In a country of 9 million people, this means that almost everyone knows one of the victims,” Scholz said in a speech to the Bundestag, the lower house of the German parliament.
“Throughout the land of Israel, there is currently mourning…Dear friends in Israel, we mourn with you and we share your suffering,” the Chancellor said.
Scholz criticized Hamas’ actions and said Israel had the right to defend itself.
German ‘pacifist’ woman captured by Hamas terrorists in music festival massacre may be alive in Gaza, says motherhttps://t.co/4H5BwRh4uH
– Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) October 10, 2023
“Right now, there is only one place for Germany: alongside Israel,” he told lawmakers.
“Our own history, our responsibility arising from the Holocaust, imposes on us a perpetual task of defending the security of the State of Israel,” he added.
Scholz noted that thousands of people had demonstrated in support of Israel in recent days, but added that “there were also other shameful photos from Germany last weekend.”
On Saturday, a group handed out pastries on a Berlin street and dozens of people later demonstrated to celebrate the Hamas attack.
Scholz said Germany would formally ban any activity carried out by or in favor of Hamas, which is already listed by the European Union as a terrorist group.
He said groups such as Samidoun, behind the weekend’s baking action, will be banned.
Scholz said there would be “zero tolerance for anti-Semitism” in Germany.