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Germany Urges Further Extension of Gaza Pause

‘In our view, it must last as long as possible so that we can bring urgently needed help to people in Gaza,’ says Foreign Ministry spokesman

Germany on Wednesday called for another extension of the humanitarian pause in Gaza to get additional humanitarian aid into the besieged Palestinian enclave.

“In our view, it must last as long as possible so that we can bring the urgently needed help to the people in Gaza,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Sebastian Fischer said at a press briefing in Berlin.

He also announced plans to increase humanitarian aid by an additional €18 million ($19.8 million) due to the catastrophic situation in the Gaza Strip.

The aim is to provide the civilian population with essential supplies such as water, food, medicine and clothing, Fischer said.

Germany’s total humanitarian aid for the Palestinian territories this year will increase to €179 million, he added.

German Deputy Foreign Minister Katja Keul also said that the humanitarian situation in Gaza is dramatic, and further efforts are needed to address the crisis.

“Fortunately we have seen some developments in the last days and hopefully the release of the first hostages only marks the beginning of a positive course of events,” she said at the Berlin Security Conference.

Keul underlined the importance of the resumption of diplomatic talks for achieving a sustainable peace and security for Israelis and Palestinians.

Earlier in the day, UN human rights chief Volker Turk called “on all those with influence (to push) for extended Gaza cease-fire on humanitarian and human rights grounds.”

“I hope this can open the way for a permanent end to the violence and support concrete efforts to achieve a lasting peace for Palestinians and Israelis,” Turk said during an online session dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

“The current temporary ceasefire provides some relief for civilians and for some families long-awaited reunions with their loved ones. But access to humanitarian assistance must be ensured and sustained throughout Gaza and all hostages must be released,” he said.

Qatar announced an agreement late Monday to extend the initial four-day pause for two more days, under which further prisoner exchanges will be carried out.

Israel launched a massive military campaign in the Gaza Strip following a cross-border attack by Hamas on Oct. 7.

It has since killed over 15,000 people, including 6,150 children and 4,000 women, according to health authorities in the enclave.

The official Israeli death toll stands at 1,200.

Source : AA

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