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Germany’s chancellor, Israeli premier discuss Gaza war over phone | World

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German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has discussed the latest developments in Gaza with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a government spokesman said on Thursday.

“The Chancellor and Prime Minister Netanyahu exchanged views on the situation and future prospects in the region,” German government’s deputy spokesman Wolfgang Buchner said in a statement.

“They spoke about efforts to release all hostages held by Hamas and about a cease-fire. Further improvements to humanitarian aid for the people in the Gaza Strip were also discussed,” he said, without being more specific.

The phone call came after Netanyahu vowed Tuesday to invade Rafah – home to more than 1 million Palestinians seeking refuge from the Israel-Hamas war – despite reports of a new cease-fire proposal being discussed by Hamas and Israel to end the conflict in Gaza.

Netanyahu said the Israeli army would enter Rafah to destroy Hamas’ battalions there “with or without a deal.”

Israel’s War Cabinet is expected to meet tonight to discuss the latest developments, according local media reports.

Israel has waged a military offensive on Gaza since Oct. 7, 2023 cross-border attack by Hamas which killed some 1,200 people.

More than 34,600 Palestinians have since been killed, mostly women and children, and 77,800 others injured amid mass destruction and severe shortages of necessities.

More than six months into the Israeli war, vast swathes of Gaza lay in ruins, pushing 85% of the enclave’s population into internal displacement amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water, and medicine, according to the UN.

Israel is accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice, which has ordered Tel Aviv to ensure its forces do not commit acts of genocide and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.

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