Germany’s foreign minister published an op-ed in an Israeli paper Sunday, calling on the Jewish state to make the “difficult but necessary decisions” to bring about peace with the Palestinians.

Frank-Walter Steinmeier penned the piece for Ynet just a day before German Chancellor Angela Merkel was set to arrive in Israel with a contingent of high-ranking German officials.


“We support [peace negotiations] vigorously and encourage Israel to make the difficult but necessary decisions,” he wrote.

“Israel sometimes feels isolated and misunderstood. The current debate about Europe’s policy toward Israel has once again brought those feelings into the foreground. But Israel does not stand alone.”

Meanwhile, German Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Sawsan Chebli, who is of Palestinian descent, added to reporters, “There are no sanctions against Israel and Germany would be the first country to oppose them.”

The op-ed came just days after a Knesset speech by the German president of the European Parliament, Martin Schultz, sparked a walkout after the leader criticized Israel’s Gaza blockade, among other condemnations.