German Chancellor Offers 'Deepest Sympathy

Ad Feedback - In a joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in Berlin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel offered her "deepest sympathy" for victims of last week's suicide bombing in Dimona, which killed one woman and injured 11 others.

"It is difficult in Germany for us to imagine the daily threat against the local population," she said, inadvertently linking Kassam rocket attacks to Dimona, which at 23 miles south of Beersheba and 22 miles west of the Dead Sea, is out of range of Palestinian rocket fire from the Gaza Strip.

Olmert said that under his leadership Israel would end the daily Kassam rocket fire on southern Israeli communities, a claim many Israelis would question.

"The Israeli government, under my leadership, is absolutely determined to respond to the challenge of terrorism from Gaza in every possible manner that will be effective," he said, adding that he was proud of "our security and intelligence services."

Merkel suggested that Gaza residents use their influence to stop the attacks, which, she said, do not serve their best interests.

The two leaders touched on Iran, with Olmert pointing out that the Islamic republic's uranium enrichment program made it clear that the goal is to produce nuclear warheads.

Germany does an extraordinary amount of business with Iran so the two leaders preferred not to comment on unilateral economic sanctions against Iran.

According to The Jerusalem Post, Norbert Lammert, president of Germany's parliament, said German politicians are genuinely concerned about Israel's security.

"Israel's security is a priority for German politics, even ahead of economic interests," Lambert reportedly told Olmert.

Source: The Jerusalem Post

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