Thursday July 18, 2024

Scholz criticizes Israeli settlements

Published : 19 Nov 2023, 00:10

  DF News Desk
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz speaks during the government questioning at the German Bundestag. Photo: Kay Nietfeld/dpa.

Germany's Chancellor Olaf Scholz reiterated support for a two-state solution to the Middle East conflict and called for an immediate halt to Israeli settlement on the West Bank during a town hall meeting in his constituency on Saturday, reported dpa.

"Our view is that there has to be a two-state solution," Scholz said in Nuthetal near Berlin. "There has to be the prospect of peaceful coexistence between Israel as state and a Palestinian state," he said. This is in Israel's own best interest, he added.

Scholz expressed the hope that defeat of Hamas would boost the chance of peaceful coexistence in two states, while stressing that Germany rejected Israeli settlement construction.

"We do not want any new settlements on the West Bank," he said.

He also condemned attacks by Jewish settlers on Palestinians in the region, which have increased sharply since the October 7 attacks mounted by Hamas from the Gaza Strip.

German leaders describe Israel's security as a "reason of state," and Scholz repeated the sentiment in an address to the German parliament on Thursday.

Israel and the Palestinians have not held substantive talks since 2014, and the peace process under the Oslo Accords of 1993 and 1995 is seen as deadlocked.

Some 600,000 Israelis live in more than 200 settlements on the West Bank in defiance of international law. Ministers in the current hardline Israeli cabinet advocate annexation of the territory currently administered by the Palestinian National Authority based in Ramallah.