Germany’s Interior Minister Nancy Faeser has voiced commitment to use “all legal options” to expel Hamas supporters.
“We will use all legal options to expel Hamas supporters,” Faeser told local daily Bild on Saturday.
Berlin is “firmly” on Israel’s side, she said, adding: “We will do everything to protect you. The highest priority is the protection of Jews in Germany and of Jewish and Israeli institutions.”
She added that protection of Jewish institutions in Germany has been further strengthened.
The minister received support from Social Democratic Party (SPD) leader Lars Klingbeil, who told Funke Mediengruppe newspaper on Saturday: “If someone who celebrates Hamas on German streets does not have German citizenship, then they should be expelled from Germany.”
Last weekend, in a dramatic escalation of Middle East tensions, Israeli forces launched a sustained military push against the Gaza Strip, a response to a military offensive by the Palestinian group Hamas in Israeli territories.
The conflict began when Hamas initiated Operation Al-Aqsa Flood against Israel, a multi-pronged surprise attack including a barrage of rocket launches and infiltrations into Israel via land, sea, and air.
Hamas said the operation was in retaliation for the storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem and Israeli settlers’ growing violence against Palestinians.
The Israeli military then launched Operation Swords of Iron against Hamas targets within the Gaza Strip.
Israel’s response has extended into cutting water and electricity supplies to Gaza, further worsening living conditions in an area that has endured a crippling siege since 2007, as well as ordering more than 1 million Gazans in the northern strip to evacuate to the southern region.