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German chancellor opposed to 'immediate' ceasefire in Gaza

By AFP - Nov 13,2023 - Last updated at Nov 13,2023

FRANKFURT, Germany — German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Sunday he opposed an "immediate" ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, as calls multiply globally to halt the conflict triggered by Hamas's 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 group, sparking an escalating humanitarian crisis.

"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 organised 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 Israeli military campaign has left more than 11,000 people in Gaza dead, mainly civilians, according to the Hamas-run health ministry.


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