ua en ru

Scholz commented on possible Israeli attack on Rafah

Scholz commented on possible Israeli attack on Rafah Photo: Olaf Scholz, Chancellor of Germany (Getty Images)

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz commented on the "terribly high cost" of Israel's offensive against the Hamas group in Gaza. He stated that the world cannot stand aside and watch as Palestinians face starvation in the enclave, reports Reuters.

After talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, Scholz expressed his concern about the high number of civilian casualties and the insufficient aid reaching Gaza, where, according to humanitarian organizations, famine is imminent.

This warning was quite stark coming from the leader of Germany, which has always supported Israel's right to self-defense following the Hamas attack on the country on October 7, according to the report. Germany has always been one of Israel's staunchest allies, alongside the United States, emphasizing its duty to support the country, acknowledging its responsibility for the Holocaust, which resulted in the deaths of 6 million Jews.

"The more desperate the situation of the people in Gaza becomes, the more this begs the question: No matter how important the goal can it justify such terribly high costs, or are there other ways to achieve your goal?" Schultz said in a joint appearance with Netanyahu.

Global allies and critics have urged Netanyahu to refrain from attacking Rafah, predicting possible mass casualties among the civilian population. However, Israel claims that Rafah is one of the last strongholds of Hamas that it intends to destroy and has promised to evacuate residents.

"How should more than 1.5 million people be protected? Where should they go?" Scholz asked. He warned that a large number of civilian casualties that may result from an attack on Rafah would "complicate peace in the region."

After talks with King Abdullah in the Jordanian port of Aqaba on the Red Sea, Scholz emphasized the need for "urgent and massive improvement in conditions for aid distribution."

'We cannot stand by and watch Palestinians risk starvation," he underscored. "That's not us. That is not what we stand for."

Israel-Hamas war

After the terrorist attack by Hamas on Israel on October 7, 2023, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) launched a ground military operation in the Gaza Strip.

On February 8, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that "Israel's full victory in Gaza is close" and rejected Hamas's proposal for a ceasefire. He also announced that the IDF was ready to soon commence a ground invasion of the city of Rafah near the border with Egypt in the southern Gaza Strip.

On Tuesday, March 12, a Hamas representative stated that the group was considering a modified version of the US proposal for a ceasefire in Gaza. Hamas representatives intended to travel to Cairo in the coming days to discuss final details and implement the agreement.

However, on March 13, the Israel Defense Forces struck the food distribution center in the eastern part of Rafah. As a result, one person was killed, and 22 others were injured. The IDF reported the elimination of a Hamas commander.