A Visit of Two Bundestag Members to Israel and The Palestinian Territories
We continue to receive Members of the German Federal Parliament (Bundestag) from the liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP). Mr. Olaf in der Beek and Mr. Ulrich Lechte, the latter chairing then Bundestag's Sub-Committee on United Nations. They met politicians and civil society actors in Israel and the Palestinian Territories and were the first German parliamentarians since 2016 to visit the Gaza Strip. In Gaza, the Deputies visited UNRAW's Bureij Health Center and the Al Bureij Sewage Treatment Facility, with a volume of 86 Mio.Euro Germany's biggest infrastructure project in the Palestinian Territories, which will secure the sewage disposal of half of the population of Gaza. With UNRWA General Secretary, Pierre Krähenbühl, the deputies discussed the humanitarian responsibility UNRWA has for the school and health system, and the politcal debate also in Germany about the status of Palestinian refugees. Further insights on the Palestinian were given by the PA's Education Minister, Prof. Dr. Marwan Awartani, and by Dr. Nabil Shaath, now consultant on foreign affairs to the Palestinian president.
On the Israeli side the German parliamentarians met representatives of the Foreign Ministry, with the former Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ron Prosor - רון פרושאור, who is currently heading the Abba Eban Institute of International Diplomacy at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya. With actors of the Israeli civil society the guests discussed their engagement for peace and human rights and obstacles they face in this context. During a visit at Yad Vashem, The World Holocaust Remembrance Center, the parliamentarians paid respect to the Jewish victims of the holocaust in the frame of a wreath-laying ceremony.
The guests left with vivid and contradicting impressions on both sides of the Green Line and a deeper understanding of the complex realities in the region. And, important to mention, they managed to "survive" the extreme heat wave and witnessed the actual political drama that led to new elections in Israel.