THE German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said yesterday Sunday against the “immediate” declaration of a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip, at a time when calls for it are multiplying on a global scale.

“I admit that I do not believe that the calls for an immediate ceasefire, or a long ceasefire – which would practically be the same thing – are correct, because that would ultimately mean that Israel would offer Hamas the opportunity to regroup and procure new missiles,” Mr. Scholz said during an event organized by regional German newspaper Heilbronner Stimme.

However, he was in favor of “humanitarian pauses” in Israeli military operations.

Five weeks after the Israel/Hamas war erupted with the Palestinian Islamist movement’s unprecedented attack on areas of Israeli territory on October 7, calls for a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip, which has since been hammered relentlessly by the Israeli military , they don’t stop growing.

By expressing his opposition, the German chancellor adopts a position diametrically opposed to Arab and Muslim governments and to the Turkish president, whom he is to welcome within the week in Berlin.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday Sunday called it “critical” to declare a ceasefire as soon as possible and called on “the West” to put pressure on Israel for it.

Olaf Solz also practically separated his position from that of Emmanuel Macron, who on Friday urged Israel to stop shelling civilians in the Gaza Strip and said he was willing to work to declare a cease-fire to “protect all civilians” as they “have nothing to do with terrorists”.

According to the latest figures from Hamas’ health ministry, at least 11,180 Palestinians, mostly civilians, including 4,609 children, have been killed in Israeli shelling of the Gaza Strip since the war broke out. On the Israeli side, the authorities speak of at least 1,200 dead, also mostly civilians, since the day of the Hamas attack.