Europe

Germany issues travel alert for Israel as Gaza conflict intensifies

At least 119 Palestinians, including 31 children, killed in Israeli attacks since May 10

Oliver Towfigh Nia   | 14.05.2021
Germany issues travel alert for Israel as Gaza conflict intensifies ( Erbil Başay - Anadolu Ajansı )

BERLIN

Germany issued on Friday a travel alert for Israel and the Palestinian-run territories as the Gaza conflict escalates.

“At the moment, we strongly advise against traveling to Israel and the Palestinian territories,” Foreign Ministry deputy spokesman Christofer Burger told reporters in Berlin.

German airliner Lufthansa had already canceled its flights to Tel Aviv over the weekend in the wake of escalated tensions in the region since an Israeli court ordered the eviction of Palestinian families from the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem.

Palestinians protesting in solidarity with residents of the neighborhood were targeted by Israeli forces.

The occupying forces also raided the Al-Aqsa Mosque during special night prayers for the fasting month of Ramadan.

The subsequent escalation of tensions resulted in airstrikes by Israel on Gaza. At least 119 Palestinians, among them 31 children, have been killed and more than 830 wounded since May 10.

Palestinian resistance groups have also fired rockets toward Israel.

Hundreds of Palestinian families have taken refuge in UN-run schools in northern Gaza to escape Israeli artillery fire, with locals reporting that the strip had experienced its “most violent” night.

Calls for de-escalation

German Foreign Ministry deputy spokesman expressed only conditional support for UN calls to de-escalate.

"The goal is to end the violence as quickly as possible," Burger said. "For this, it is necessary that the rocket fire against Israel is stopped immediately."

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday called for an immediate stop to hostilities. “Out of respect for the spirit of Eid, I appeal for an immediate de-escalation and cessation of hostilities in Gaza and Israel,” he tweeted.

The UN chief warned that the conflict could fuel extremism in the Middle East.

"There are terror attacks," said German government spokesman Steffen Seibert on behalf of Chancellor Angela Merkel. "Nothing justifies such terror." The rocket fire must "stop immediately."

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