Germany pledges €40m in aid to Gaza

EU foreign affairs chief says ‘true political solution’ is needed to end Israel-Palestine violence

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Germany pledged €40 million ($48.9m) in aid to Gaza on Tuesday, as the EU said a "true political solution" was needed to achieve sustained peace in Israel and Palestine.

Speaking before an informal meeting of EU representatives, Germany's Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said he would lobby fellow member states to increase humanitarian supplies to Gaza amid the worst violence there in years.

Josep Borrell, the EU’s foreign affairs chief, said the priority was an immediate ceasefire after the fighting between Israel and Palestinian groups including Hamas.

Speaking after the video conference, he said the “status quo is not an option, because the violence will come again”.

He referenced the cycles of destruction and reconstruction in Gaza in recent years.

“This is not an option. I think we Europeans today, we have said something very important. We need a true political solution,” Mr Borrell said.

He said it was the only way to bring peace.

Mr Borrell said the international community, including the EU, had been looking away, “hoping that the problem will be solved by itself. Well, this is not the case”.

“The priority is the immediate cessation of all violence and the implementation of a ceasefire”, Mr Borrell said. His call was backed by all EU member states except Hungary.

French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday held talks with his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah El Sisi and Jordan’s King Abdullah, as they sought to forge a way out of the crisis.

Mr Macron’s office said the discussion aimed “above all to work for a rapid ceasefire and to prevent the conflict from extending”.