Germany’s Foreign Affairs Minister in Gaza: Situation at Stake

GAZA, June 1, 2015 (WAFA) – German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said, during a visit to the war-battered Gaza Strip on Monday, that the situation is heading towards an imminent outburst, calling for an immediate end of the Israeli siege.

Steinmeier described the situation there as a “barrel of gunpowder” that can explode at any moment, which was in reference to the Israeli tightened nine-year-long blockade on the coastal enclave.

The statements by Germany’s top foreign official came as he toured the ruins of the Shujayea neighborhood, which was severely bombed during the Israeli onslaught on Gaza last summer.

“The international community should not wait for progress on the diplomatic front before providing much needed assistance to the Gaza Strip,” Steinmeier was quoted by official German Press Agency.

“We cannot wait to improve living conditions until talks about a two-state solution are back on track,” said Steinmeier, who visited a United Nations girls school built with German support.

Steinmeier joins a growing list of European officials who have visited the Gaza Strip since last summer’s aggression, including the foreign ministers of Norway, Ireland, and Spain, European Union Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini.

Yesterday, Steinmeier met with Israeli and Palestinian officials, and said he was concerned about the situation in Gaza, which is struggling to recover from a devastating war with Israel last year.

He said that “concrete measures” were needed to reconstruct the coastal enclave in order to prevent a renewal of hostilities between Israel and Hamas.

Despite international pledges of more than $5 billion, little has been achieved in the Gaza’s reconstruction.