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German Chancellor Scholz to travel to Israel

Published : 17 Oct 2023, 01:22

  By Lena Klimpel and Michael Fischer, dpa
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Monday boards an air force plane to fly to Albania for the Western Balkans summit. Photo: Michael Kappeler/dpa.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is set to travel to Israel on Tuesday, dpa learned on Monday, as the situation in the Middle East continues to escalate.

There was initially no confirmation from the chancellor's office.

Scholz will first meet Jordan's King Abdullah II in Berlin on Tuesday morning and then leave for Israel. Afterwards, he plans to travel to Egypt.

Immediately after Hamas' attack on Israel, Scholz had declared Germany's full solidarity with Israel. At Israel's request, the German government has also supported the country with reconnaissance drones and ammunition.

The Israeli government also expects Germany to provide support for the counter-attack against the Palestinian extremist organization. The Israeli armed forces are currently preparing a ground offensive in Gaza, as hundreds of thousands of Palestinians are fleeing to the south of the coastal enclave which is ruled by Hamas.

Scholz spoke on the phone with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu twice in recent days. He also spoke with the heads of state of Qatar, Egypt and Turkey.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock travelled to Israel on Friday in a show of solidarity with the country following the large-scale attacks by Hamas on Israel on October 7.

The surprise attacks killed over 1,400 in Israel. According to the Israeli military, close to 200 people - including several German nationals - were taken hostage by Hamas.

Israeli retaliatory strikes on Gaza in the last week have killed over 2,670 Palestinians and wounded over 9,600 in the coastal enclave.

According to Baerbock, the German government still has "no direct contact" with the German hostages.