Europe is bracing for a test of wills over Israeli-Palestinian relations. After hard-liner Benjamin Netanyahu was formally asked by Israel’s president to form the next government, the EU has reiterated its support for a two-state solution.
Czech European Affairs Minister Alexandr Vondra, cautious about dealings with Netanyahu, said: “I think we could have a rough start but we need to move ahead with the peace process because the two-state solution road is narrowing and we can’t afford the luxury of waiting.” European Parliament President Hans-Gert Poettering, meanwhile, has been visiting the Gaza Strip. He toured sites which were severely damaged during Israel’s recent offensive, launched in retaliation for Hamas militant rocket-fire into Israeli territory. Assessing how the EU might help the Palestinians and Israelis, Poettering said “war never can be a solution”.