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Updated March 17th, 2024 at 20:40 IST

Germany's Olaf Scholz Meets Jordan’s King in Aqaba to Discuss Gaza War, Aid Efforts

Jordan's Abdullah also warned of the danger of ceasing support to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).

Reported by: Digital Desk
Jordan Germany
King Abdullah II and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. | Image:X
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Jordan's King Abdullah II met with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in the coastal city of Aqaba on Sunday. Scholz and Abdullah discussed the developments in Gaza and emphasized the need for the international community to urgently work towards an immediate and permanent ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, according to a statement from the Royal Court.

The leaders also focused on efforts to protect civilians and provide humanitarian aid to the besieged territory, the statement said. The Royal Court said that Abdullah reiterated Jordan's rejection of any attempts to forcibly displace Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.

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Abdullah also warned of the danger of ceasing support to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), and its dangerous repercussions on the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and Jordan, the statement added. Both leaders also warned against an Israeli attack on Gaza's southern city of Rafah, the statement said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said Friday he approved military plans to attack Rafah, the southernmost town in Gaza where about 1.4 million displaced Palestinians — more than half the enclave's population — are sheltering. Israel says it wants to target Hamas battalions stationed there.

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Many fled to Rafah when Israel attacked Gaza following the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on southern Israel that killed 1,200 people and left another 250 hostage. The United States and other countries have warned that a military operation in Rafah could be disastrous. Netanyahu's office didn't give details or a timetable for the Rafah operation, but said that it would involve the evacuation of the civilian population.

The military has said it planned to direct civilians to “humanitarian islands” in central Gaza. Israel's offensive in the territory has killed at least 31,553 Palestinians, the Gaza Health Ministry said.

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The ministry doesn't differentiate between civilians and combatants in its count, but says women and children make up two-thirds of the dead. Israel’s offensive has driven most of Gaza’s 2.3 million people from their homes. A quarter of Gaza’s population is starving, according to the UN.

(The Associated Press)

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Published March 17th, 2024 at 20:40 IST

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