ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 147

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Germany’s foreign minister to visit Israel next week, urge pause in fighting

German Minister of Foreign Affairs Annalena Baerbock attends a meeting with Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh (not pictured) in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2023. (Ammar Awad /Pool Photo via AP)
German Minister of Foreign Affairs Annalena Baerbock attends a meeting with Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh (not pictured) in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2023. (Ammar Awad /Pool Photo via AP)

Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock will travel to Israel in the middle of next week, a foreign ministry spokesperson says, a trip in which she said she plans to urge a ceasefire as Israel prepares to advance on Rafah, the last Hamas stronghold in Gaza.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said his government is preparing an evacuation plan for the more than one million Palestinians penned into Rafah, on the southern border with Egypt. Many have already been displaced at least once and have nowhere left to flee in the crowded enclave.

“The distress in Rafah is already beyond belief. 1.3 million people are seeking protection from the fighting in the most limited of space. An offensive by the Israeli army on Rafah would be a humanitarian catastrophe,” Baerbock wrote in a post on X on Saturday.

“Israel must defend itself against Hamas terror but at the same time alleviate the suffering of civilians as much as possible. That is why another pause in fighting is needed — also in order for hostages can finally be released. I will discuss ways towards that in Israel again next week,” she added in a second post.

Baerbock last visited Israel last month.

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