Creating new perspectives since 2009

Germany’s Scholz urges Israel to abide by international law, allow more aid into Gaza

February 17, 2024 at 9:36 am

BERLIN, GERMANY – FEBRUARY 12: German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin, Germany on February 12, 2024 [Halil Sağırkaya – Anadolu Agency]

Amid growing concerns over Israel’s planned ground operation in the city of Rafah, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Saturday urged Tel Aviv to abide by international law, Anadolu Agency reports.

Speaking at the Munich Security Conference, Scholz reaffirmed Germany’s support for Israel’s security, but also underlined that they expect the Israeli government to respect international law.

“Israel has the right to defend their own country, and this is what the United States, and what Germany, and many others are just stating,” Scholz told an audience of international political and military leaders.

“We are also very clear on the things that are important to be said. So first that humanitarian aid has to get to Gaza, and more as we see today. Second, that the way the war is handled is according to international law,” he stressed.

Some 1.5 million Palestinians previously displaced by Israel’s offensive on Gaza are holed up in Rafah, seeking refuge from hostilities that have laid waste to wide swathes of Palestinian territory. Israel’s reported plans for an offensive on the city have sounded international alarm bells, with many countries urging restraint or calling off the operation altogether.

Scholz said his government has been conveying its concerns to the Israeli government and reminding them of their responsibility to abide by international law.

“We are asking that they do so, and we are constantly discussing this question, and there’s good reason for doing so, and it is something which is so important for all of us,” the chancellor said.

“We are very clear in this that obeying international law and the rules is something which is not just something we do because we subscribed (to) some agreements globally, it is something which is coming out of our perspective of humankind and how we want to be, and how we want to see ourselves,” he added.

The Israeli war has pushed 85% of the territory’s population into internal displacement amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine, while 60% of the enclave’s infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

Israel is accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice. An interim ruling in January ordered Tel Aviv to stop genocidal acts and to take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.

READ: EU foreign policy chief urges Israel not to launch attack on Rafah