Israel believes Germany may serve as ‘buffer’ to EU’s punitive measures after annexation

The German foreign minister is scheduled to visit Israel this week in the run-up to Israel’s planned annexation of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria on July 1.

By Benjamin Kerstein, The Algemeiner

In the event of a partial annexation of Judea and Samaria, Israel believes that Germany would serve a diplomatic “buffer,” moderating possible punitive measures from the European Union.

The Israeli news site N12 reported on Monday that while some EU countries might want to take a hard line against Israel if it went ahead with annexation, such imposing sanctions or recognizing a Palestinian state, Germany would likely not back such steps.

Moreover, the date set by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to begin discussions on annexation — July 1 — is also the day Germany will receive the EU presidency, putting it in a good position to oppose extreme measures against Israel.

One reason for the German foreign minister’s planned visit to Israel this week is believed to be in order to get a sense of “the lay of the land” on the annexation issue.

Although Germany may decide to be a “shock absorber” for Israel in the event of annexation, it is also reportedly deeply concerned about the effect of annexation on the stability of neighboring Jordan, where a majority of the population is of Palestinian descent.