Merkel pushes peace efforts in Israel

Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel and her ministers are in Israel for the annual joint cabinet session. High on the agenda: the latest push for a peace deal. But the two countries’ friendship is being put to the test, as Germany has issued some blunt criticism of Israel’s policies, Deutsche Welle reports.
Merkel was to have dinner with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with U.S. sponsored peace with Palestinians set to be high on the agenda.
Merkel indicated Saturday that she will lobby on behalf of American-led efforts to broker a framework deal between Israelis and Palestinians by April.
In Israel, she will hold talks with Netanyahu, with Israel’s divisive settlement policy on the agenda. The visit comes amid growing calls in Europe for a boycott against Israel over its settlements in the West Bank. There are fears in Israel that if the peace talks collapse, the European Union could take punitive measures against Israel. Israel and Germany are scheduled to hold their fifth annual joint cabinet session – their largest ever – on Tuesday.

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