German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said on Wednesday that he has offered support to his Israeli counterpart Yoav Galant in the wake of an attack by the Hamas group.
The federal (German) government has also made this offer to the Israeli military attaché, said Pistorius in Berlin after a meeting of the parliament's Defense Committee.
“Both have said so far that they don't need military or technical support. It's about political support,” the minister told journalists after the meeting.
“And as soon as we can provide humanitarian help, the offer is on the table, but it has not yet been requested,” he added.
Meanwhile, Pistorius declined to comment as to whether Hamas was holding German hostages and, if so, what kind of action would be taken.
On Tuesday, German federal prosecutors announced a probe into Hamas on suspicion of kidnapping and murdering German citizens, as the mother of a German-Israeli woman believed to be abducted appealed for help.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said earlier that Berlin was working “intensively” with Israel to learn the fate of German citizens among the hostages and “what we can do to secure their freedom.”
Regarding the evacuation of German citizens from Israel, Pistorius said: "We are in contact with the (German) Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This is a decision to be made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We are always ready to do what needs to be done if it is in line with the foreign policy evaluations of the Chancellery and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.”
In a dramatic escalation of Mideast tensions, Israeli forces have launched a sustained and forceful military campaign against the Gaza Strip, a response to a military offensive by the Palestinian group Hamas in Israeli territories. The conflict began when Hamas initiated Operation Al-Aqsa Flood against Israel, a multi-pronged surprise attack including a barrage of rocket launches and infiltrations into Israel via land, sea, and air, which Hamas said was in retaliation for the storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem and Israeli settlers’ growing violence against Palestinians.
In response to Hamas' actions, the Israeli military launched Operation Swords of Iron against Hamas targets within the Gaza Strip. Israel's response has extended into cutting water and electricity supplies to Gaza, further worsening the living conditions in an area that has reeled under a crippling siege since 2007.