German chancellor opposed to ‘immediate’ ceasefire in Gaza

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German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Sunday he opposed an “immediate” ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, as calls multiply globally to halt the conflict triggered by Hamas’ unprecedented attack on Israel.

Israel has relentlessly pounded the densely populated Hamas-run Palestinian territory and sent in troops in a mission to destroy the militant group, sparking an escalating humanitarian crisis.

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“I don’t think the calls for an immediate ceasefire or long pause -- which would amount to the same thing -- are right,” Scholz said in a debate organized by the German regional daily Heilbronner Stimme.

“That would mean ultimately that Israel leaves Hamas the possibility of recovering and obtaining new missiles,” he added, calling instead for “humanitarian pauses.”

Scholz’s stance clashes with many Arab countries, France’s Emmanuel Macron and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is due to meet the German leader in Berlin next week.

The Hamas attack left around 1,200 dead, mostly civilians killed on October 7, according to the latest official Israeli figures, while 42 soldiers have been killed in the Gaza Strip since the Israeli military began ground operations.

The Israeli military estimates some 240 people were taken hostage into the Gaza Strip during the initial Hamas attack. Among these captives there are at least 30 children, according to Israeli media.

The Israeli military campaign has left more than 11,000 people in Gaza dead, mainly civilians, according to the health ministry there.

With AFP

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