German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz has announced that Germany will suspend all development aid to the occupied Palestinian territories pending the completion of a review to ensure it best serves regional peace and Israel’s security.
“Our yardstick will be whether and how these projects best serve peace in the region and the security of Israel,” he said.
“Until that review is complete we will not make available any new development cooperation resources,” he added.
Scholz added that he could “foresee the suffering of the civilian population in the Gaza strip likely growing further.”
“But that too is the fault of Hamas and its attack on Israel,” he stated while also criticising what he said was the “shameful” silence of Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, whose West Bank-based Fatah movement is a rival of Hamas.
Also, Scholz pronounced that all Hamas activities in Germany will be banned following the militant group’s unprecedented attack on Israel at the weekend.
Scholz said that his government would ban all fundraising and other activities supporting Hamas, including being seen to glorify its actions or displaying its symbols.
In addition, the Palestinian solidarity network Samidoun is to be banned.
The Samidoun association cheered the attack on Israel by handing out sweets in Berlin’s Neukölln district.
“This is despicable. This is inhuman. It contradicts all the values to which we are committed as a country,’’ Scholz said.
“We do not accept hatred and incitement without action. We do not tolerate anti-Semitism,’’ he iterated.
Like other German leaders, Scholz stressed that the country had a historic duty towards Israel given its responsibility for the Nazi-perpetrated Holocaust.
Moreover, Scholz stated that Iran bore responsibility for helping Hamas grow to the point where it launched last weekend’s attack on Israel.
“While we have no firm proof that Iran operationally supported this cowardly attack, it is clear to us all that without Iranian support, Hamas would never have been able to launch this unprecedented attack.”
“The jubilant statements from the top of the Iranian regime and some other government officials in the region are abhorrent. The leadership in Tehran shows its true colours without shame, and thereby confirms its role in Gaza.”Olaf Scholz
On Tuesday, October 11, 2023, Iran’s Supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei asserted that Iran was not involved in the Hamas attack on Israel.
However, Khamenei lauded what he called Israel’s “irreparable” military and intelligence defeat.
Furthermore, Scholz added that it was important to try and avoid a further regional escalation of violence.
“I am in close contact with Egypt’s President Sisi, who has channels to Gaza. I will speak with Turkey’s President Erdogan today and receive the Emir of Qatar,” he added.
“All three can play an important role in de-escalating the situation,” he noted.
Germany has stepped up protection of Jewish institutions and banned a pro-Palestinian protest due to take place in the capital, Berlin on Wednesday, October 18, 2023.
Israel Asks Germany For Ammunition
Also on Thursday, German Defence Minister, Boris Pistorius disclosed that Israel has asked Germany for ammunition for its ships.
Pistorius said that he would talk with Israeli partners to learn more about the details of the request.
The Minister added that Berlin will allow Israel to use two Heron drones the German air force has in use in the country.
“We will provide two drone the Israelis had asked for. In addition, there are first requests for ammunition for ships that we will now discuss with the Israelis. We stand by Israel’s side.”Boris Pistorius
Western allies are increasing their military assistance to Israel, including the U.S which sent ammunition and interceptors to replenish the Iron Dome defence system.