Germans must never shoot at Israelis: Merkel

6th September 2006, Comments 0 comments

6 September 2006, BERLIN - Defending Germany's refusal to send ground troops to serve with United Nations peacekeepers in Lebanon, Chancellor Angela Merkel said Wednesday that German soldiers must never be put in a position where they might even accidently shoot at Israelis. Merkel, in a speech to parliament, underlined her government's pledge to send naval forces to serve off Lebanon's coast. But she won strong applause by adding: "German ground troops cannot be stationed in Lebanon." Merkel, while not me

6 September 2006

BERLIN - Defending Germany's refusal to send ground troops to serve with United Nations peacekeepers in Lebanon, Chancellor Angela Merkel said Wednesday that German soldiers must never be put in a position where they might even accidently shoot at Israelis.

Merkel, in a speech to parliament, underlined her government's pledge to send naval forces to serve off Lebanon's coast.

But she won strong applause by adding: "German ground troops cannot be stationed in Lebanon."

Merkel, while not mentioning the Holocaust, said Germany had a special obligation to ensure Israel's security.

"It has to be prevented--even if it is unintentional--that German soldiers ever shoot at Israelis," Merkel said.

The United Nations is expanding its United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) peacekeeping force to 15,000 troops under terms of a Security Council resolution which last month ended fighting between Israel and the Lebanon-based Hezbollah militant group.

DPA

Subject: German news

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