Middle East trip: Scholz: Do everything to prevent further deaths in Gaza

On his second trip to the Middle East since the start of the Gaza war, Chancellor Olaf Scholz urgently called for a ceasefire.

Middle East trip: Scholz: Do everything to prevent further deaths in Gaza

On his second trip to the Middle East since the start of the Gaza war, Chancellor Olaf Scholz urgently called for a ceasefire. “It is very clear that we must now do everything we can to ensure that the situation does not become even worse than it is,” said the SPD politician on Sunday after a conversation with the Jordanian King Abdullah in Aqaba. At the same time, he warned against a ground offensive by Israel in the south of the Gaza Strip: "I believe that a large number of victims in such an offensive would make any peaceful development very difficult. Many in Israel also know that."

Israel has every right to defend itself against the attack launched by Hamas, said Scholz. However, it should not come to this "that many who fled to Rafah in Gaza are now in immediate danger" from military action. "That's why I, like the American president, made it very clear that we think that this is something where we have to do everything very, very, very carefully to avoid further large numbers of victims." With a view to a planned resumption of indirect negotiations on a provisional ceasefire, Scholz said: "It is very clear to me that it is now also a matter of concretizing the possibility, which is evident in the existing talks, of a ceasefire that lasts longer, get."

Netanyahu clearly rejects stopping the Gaza war

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu firmly rejects an end to the Gaza war before all Israeli goals are achieved. "If we end the war now before its goals are achieved, it means that Israel has lost the war," Netanyahu said on Sunday, a few hours before a meeting with Chancellor Olaf Scholz. This will not be allowed.

At the beginning of a cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Netanyahu reiterated that he would not bow to international pressure. They are also sticking to a military operation in Rafah on the border with Egypt. "To our friends within the international community I say: Is your memory so short? Have you forgotten so quickly October 7th, the worst massacre of Jews since the Shoah?" Scholz had recently warned Israel several times about an offensive in Rafah. He is pushing for a ceasefire so that the hostages can be released and more humanitarian aid can reach the Gaza Strip.

Netanyahu now called on the international community to put pressure on the terrorist organization Hamas and its sponsor, Iran, instead of on Israel. “It is they who pose a danger to the region and the entire world,” said the head of government.

In Rafah in the south of the Gaza Strip, it is estimated that 1.5 million Palestinians are seeking protection from the fighting in other areas of the sealed-off coastal area in a confined space and under miserable conditions. Aid organizations warn of many more civilian deaths. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently confirmed that Israel would advance to Rafah despite international pressure. After his stop in Jordan, Scholz wanted to travel on to Israel on Sunday and speak with Netanyahu, among others, on the same day. Scholz did not go into details from his conversation with the Jordanian king.

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