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Gaza strip needs assistance

Germany
01.06.2015
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Gaza Strip needs urgent assistance, German foreign minister says
The international community should not wait for progress on the diplomatic front before providing much needed assistance to the Gaza Strip, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Monday as he toured the Palestinian enclave.
GALLERY
Gaza City (dpa) - Speaking almost a year after the 50-day war between Israel and Palestinian armed groups, he called the situation facing the enclave‘s 1.8 million residents "catastrophic."
German Foreign Minister Steinmeier received a Honorary Doctorate from Hebrew University of Jerusalem on the 31st of May 2015.

"We cannot wait to improve living conditions until talks about a two-state solution are back on track," said Steinmeier, who visited a United Nations girls school built with German support.

Despite international pledges of more than 5 billion dollars, little has been achieved in the enclave‘s reconstruction.

During talks held in Jerusalem and Ramallah on Sunday, the German foreign minister had called for a relaunch of Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, stressing however that such negotiations "shouldn‘t last forever."

A Hamas source, meanwhile, denied rumours that the German minister‘s arrival was related to covert talks on a prisoner exchange deal between Israel and Hamas.

Abdullah Barghouti, an explosives engineer connected to Hamas, had earlier given an unauthorized interview from an Israeli jail to a Gaza radio station urging the organization‘s military wing not to sign a new prisoner exchange deal with Israel.

In 2011, Germany helped broker a prisoners swap that saw Hamas free Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier who had been held hostage in Gaza for over five years, in exchange for 1,027 Palestinian militants jailed in Israel.

Steinmeier was scheduled to fly to Paris later on Monday for a meeting of foreign ministers on the war against Islamic State.

 

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