Germany’s long-standing commitment to the defense of Israel has been thrown out the window: Germany now says it will arrest Benjamin Netanyahu if he sets foot in the Country

Israeli-foreign-minister-Israel-Katz

Important Takeaways:

  • Germany will arrest Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu if he enters the country amid allegations of war crimes by the International Criminal Court, a spokesperson has confirmed.
  • Steffen Hebestreit, a spokesperson for German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, confirmed on Wednesday the country would ‘abide by the law’ and arrest the under-fire Israeli leader should he visit the EU nation.
  • This comes after British prosecutor Karim Khan announced on Monday that he is seeking warrants for Netanyahu, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, as well as three Hamas terror chiefs including Yahya Sinwar, the ruler in Gaza who masterminded October 7.
  • Taking to X, formerly known as Twitter, on Tuesday Prosor wrote: “This is outrageous! The German “Staatsräson” is now being put to the test—no ifs or buts.
  • Staatsräson refers to Germany’s long-standing commitment to the defense of Israel, a policy declared by former Chancellor Angela Merkel during a 2008 speech to the Knesset.
  • The public statement that Israel has the right to self-defense loses credibility if our hands are tied as soon as we defend ourselves.’
  • Netanyahu has furiously condemned the ICC for ‘daring to compare’ Israel with ‘mass murderers’ after an arrest warrant was issued for both the Israeli prime minister and Hamas leaders.

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Germany considers conscription of 18-year-olds to fill ranks; NATO must be preparing for something larger to take place

German-Soldiers

Important Takeaways:

  • Germany is considering introducing conscription for all 18-year-olds, as it looks to boost its troop numbers in the face of Russian military aggression.
  • Both men and women could be called up to boost numbers in the armed forces
  • Military planners in Berlin are in the final stages of discussing three options, two of which involve a form of conscription, according to leaked plans reported in the German media.
  • Defense Minister Boris Pistorius is set to go public with the official plans by June.

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Russian state hackers have attacked Germany in cyberspace

German-Foreign-Minister-Annalena-Baerbock

Important Takeaways:

  • Russia will face consequences for a cyberattack allegedly orchestrated by a group with ties to its military intelligence, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said on Friday.
  • Germany has been among the Western nations providing Ukraine military support in its war with Russia
  • In January 2023, Berlin said Russian activist hackers knocked several German websites offline in response to its decision to send tanks to Ukraine, although with little tangible effect.
  • “We can now clearly attribute last year’s attack to the Russian group APT28, which is controlled by the Russian military intelligence service GRU”
  • “In other words, Russian state hackers have attacked Germany in cyberspace,” added Baerbock, who is visiting Australia to meet counterpart Penny Wong. “This is completely unacceptable and will not remain without consequences.”

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European banking sector: “A deteriorating operating environment with low economic growth”

Frankfurt-Germany

Important Takeaways:

  • Moody’s sours on banking sector outlooks for Germany, Britain and France
  • The credit rating agency Moody’s said on Thursday that it was downgrading its outlook for the banking sector in a number of European countries as weak economies erode profits.
  • It changed the outlook to negative from stable for the banking sectors of Germany, Britain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Sweden.
  • Rising losses for unpaid loans and higher funding costs will chip away at profits, Moody’s said.
  • “A deteriorating operating environment with low economic growth and high borrowing costs will hit credit growth as well as loan performance in the largest European countries, particularly in the corporate sector,” said Moody’s analyst Effie Tsotsani.

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German Chancellor accused of ‘flagrant abuse of intelligence’ regarding British and French ground troops in Ukraine

Zelensky-Ukraine

Important Takeaways:

  • German chancellor Olaf Scholz has been accused of a “flagrant abuse of intelligence” for divulging details of British aid for Ukrainian forces.
  • Scholz said Germany will not be sending Kyiv Taurus, Berlin’s version of the Storm Shadow missile, pointing to a risk of his country becoming directly involved in the war, referring to the UK and French assistance to Ukraine.
  • On Monday, he said that German soldiers could not follow the lead of their British and French allies in “the way of target control and accompanying target control”.
  • “This is a flagrant abuse of intelligence deliberately designed to distract from Germany’s reluctance to arm Ukraine with its own long-range missile system,” said Tobias Ellwood, the former chairman of the Commons defense committee.
  • Rishi Sunak on Tuesday confirmed the UK government has a “small number” of soldiers deployed inside Ukraine but added that Britain has no plans for a large-scale deployment of troops to the war-hit nation.
  • “Beyond the small number of personnel, we do have in the country supporting the armed forces of Ukraine, we haven’t got any plans for large-scale deployment,” the PM’s spokesperson told reporters, adding that large numbers of Ukrainian troops were being trained in Britain and London was supporting Kyiv with equipment and supplies.

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Berlin farmers protest gains support

Farmer-Protest-Germany

Important Takeaways:

  • Thousands of demonstrators descended on the German capital Monday as a week-long protest over subsidy cuts in the agriculture sector reached a climax at the city’s famed Brandenburg Gate.
  • Behind the crowd, tractors, which last week blocked highways across the country, lined the avenue cutting through Berlin’s Tiergarten park.
  • “Without stability in the countryside, without agriculture our country has no future,” German Farmers’ Association President Joachim Rukwied said from the stage. “That’s why we are prepared to take to the streets.”
  • Monday’s demonstration was also an outlet for general dissatisfaction with the government, adding to the mounting pressure on Chancellor Olaf Scholz after scrambling to fix a billion-euro budget blunder, which led to the subsidy cuts.

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Europe on high alert after arrests of terrorists

German-Courthouse

Important Takeaways:

  • Germany arrests four Hamas terrorists for plans to attack Jews
  • Four members of Hamas have been detained on suspicion of planning attacks on Jewish institutions in Europe, German prosecutors said in a statement on Thursday.
  • Three of the suspects were detained in Berlin and another was detained in the Netherlands, according to the prosecutors.
  • All four have been longstanding members of Hamas with close links to the leadership of the group’s military branch, said prosecutors.
  • Abdelhamid Al A had been tasked by Hamas leaders in Lebanon with sourcing weapons. The weapons were due to be taken to Berlin and kept at the ready for potential terrorist attacks against Jewish institutions, said prosecutors.
  • European authorities have warned of an increased risk of attacks by Islamists radicalized in relation to the Israel-Hamas war.

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France, Germany, Italy called for EU special sanctions to target Hamas

Loading-Cargo-Plane

Important Takeaways:

  • France, Germany and Italy called for the European Union to set up a special sanctions scheme to target Hamas as EU foreign ministers met on Monday to consider possible next steps in response to the Middle East crisis.
  • In a letter to EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, the foreign ministers of the bloc’s three biggest countries said it was important the EU take “all necessary measures against the terrorist group Hamas and its supporters”.
  • Hamas is already listed by the European Union as a terrorist organization, meaning any funds or assets that it has in the EU should be frozen.
  • The EU said on Friday it had added Mohammed Deif, Commander General of the military wing of Hamas, and his deputy, Marwan Issa, to its list of terrorists under sanction.
  • Some suggested a decision last week by the United States, Israel’s biggest backer, to start imposing visa bans on people involved in violence in the West Bank could encourage EU countries to take similar steps.

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German Minister of Defense “We have to become ready for war”

Prepare-War-in-Europe

Important Takeaways:

  • Germany Defense Minister Says Military Must Become Ready for War In Europe
  • German Minister of Defense Boris Pistorius has warned of the looming threat of a violent conflict igniting on the European continent, explaining during a television interview this weekend that a new mentality has to be adopted across society to tackle the increased risks of violent conflict.
  • “We have to get used to the idea again that the danger of war in Europe could threaten. And that means: We have to become war-ready,” Pistorius said, adding that bolstering Germany’s defense capabilities is the best means of avoiding future escalations.
  • But what he called decades of rot will be hard to fix in 18 months, the Defense Minister noted, also suggesting Germany’s armed forces will look “completely different” by the end of the decade. It was discovered earlier this year that the nation’s ammunition stockpiles have dropped below NATO’s required levels.

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U.S., Germany and U.K. warn citizens abroad of potential terrorist attacks

Important Takeaways:

  • The U.S. Department of State issued a rare ‘Worldwide Caution’ alert Thursday, urging any American who is overseas to “exercise increased caution” due to “increased tensions in various locations around the world.”
  • The U.S. said there is also an increased potential for “terrorist attacks, demonstrations or violent actions against U.S. citizens.”
  • The U.S. Embassy in Beirut also urged American citizens Thursday to make plans to leave the country “as soon as possible while commercial options are still available,” as fighting intensifies near Israel’s northern border with Lebanon.
  • “We recommend that U.S. citizens who choose not to depart prepare contingency plans for emergency situations,” the embassy said in an emergency alert.
  • The U.K. and Germany issued similar warnings to their citizens.

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