A German minister, who was banned by Israel from entering the Gaza Strip, says Tel Aviv could exceed the limit of playing the political hardball any time.
Development Minister Dirk Niebel said time is running out for the regime to ease up on its hardline policies, reminding Tel Aviv of the international anger over Israel’s Gaza policy and the shaky nature of the current bid for a viable peace deal with the Palestinians, AFP reported.
“For Israel, it is five minutes to 12,” he said, adding that the regime must take the opportunity “to stop the clock while it can.”
He was prevented from meeting the representatives of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugee (UNRWA) in the coastal sliver on Sunday.
“Refusing a German development minister entry to the Gaza Strip is a great foreign policy mistake on the part of the Israeli government,” the agency quoted him as telling the German daily Leipziger Volkszeitung.
Voicing his regret over the obstruction, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said Berlin and the European Union awaited the removal of the siege of Gaza.
The Israeli-imposed restrictions are into their fourth year of denying the nearly-1.5-million Gazans of food, fuel and other necessities.
While the second staunchest advocate of Israel after the United States, Berlin fell slightly out with Tel Aviv after the Israeli forces bloodshed of at least 20 activists on board the international Gaza-bound relief mission, Freedom Flotilla.