Chancellor Merkel lands in Israel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel landed in Israel on Sunday for her first visit to the region. Merkel's 24-hour trip to Israel and the Palestinian territories makes her the first world leader to visit the region since the Hamas win. She has refused to meet Hamas officials and has expressed similar concerns to those of other world leaders regarding the Islamic militant group. Merkel is scheduled to meet with acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Sunday evening. A wide range of Israeli-German bilateral issues are on the table, including Israel's purchases of two more Dolphin submarines. Israel's navy already has three such submarines, which have the capability of being armed with nuclear weapons. The German leader stated earlier on Sunday that she intended to honor the promises made by the former German leadership to Israel, saying that Germany remained committed to ensuring the survival of the Jewish State.