Baerbock meets Israeli Foreign Minister Katz

Israel's Foreign Minister Israel Katz (R), and German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (L), at the start of her trip to the Middle East. Her first stop will be talks in Israel on the situation in Gaza, the situation in the West Bank and the tense situation on the Israeli-Lebanese border. Michael Kappeler/dpa
Israel's Foreign Minister Israel Katz (R), and German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (L), at the start of her trip to the Middle East. Her first stop will be talks in Israel on the situation in Gaza, the situation in the West Bank and the tense situation on the Israeli-Lebanese border. Michael Kappeler/dpa
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Visiting German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock met her new Israeli counterpart Israel Katz in Jerusalem on Sunday.

Katz thanked her for Germany's support for Israel and the commitment to the release of hostages in the Gaza Strip, his office said on Sunday evening.

This also applied to regional efforts to remove the Lebanese Shiite militia Hezbollah from the border with Israel, the statement said.

Baerbock arrived in Israel on her fourth trip to Israel and the region since the Hamas attacks on Israel in October.

Relatives of hostages still held in the Gaza Strip also attended her meeting with the Israeli foreign minister.

Katz said he also asked Baerbock for support with regard to what she called South Africa's "absurd" lawsuit against Israel before the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

The top Israeli diplomat also praised a ban that Germany imposed on the activities of the Islamist Hamas.

Israel's Foreign Minister Israel Katz, welcomes German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (L), at the start of her trip to the Middle East. Her first stop will be talks in Israel on the situation in Gaza, the situation in the West Bank and the tense situation on the Israeli-Lebanese border. Michael Kappeler/dpa
Israel's Foreign Minister Israel Katz, welcomes German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (L), at the start of her trip to the Middle East. Her first stop will be talks in Israel on the situation in Gaza, the situation in the West Bank and the tense situation on the Israeli-Lebanese border. Michael Kappeler/dpa