Germany's Steinmeier visits Gaza Strip

Germany's foreign minister has visited the Gaza Strip but has not met with any Hamas officials.

Germany's Steinmeier visits Gaza Strip

World Bulletin / News Desk

 Germany's foreign minister said during a visit to Gaza on Monday that any opening of the enclave's borders and economic recovery from last year's devastating war hinged mainly on ensuring no more rockets are fired at Israel.

"We need local investments, and from abroad. Hence we also need the possibility to export the goods, which are being produced here (in Gaza). This can happen only by opening the borders," Frank-Walter Steinmeier told reporters.

"But the whole truth is: all this will, under most difficult circumstances, happen only when there is real certainty ... that (Gaza) is no longer a launching pad for rockets."

The region has been largely quiet since an August ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, although a rocket from Gaza struck a vacant area near the Israeli port city of Ashdod on May 26, and Israel replied with air strikes that also caused no casualties.

Citing security concerns, Israel and Egypt tightly restrict the movement of people and goods through their borders with the Gaza Strip, a densely populated territory of 1.8 million Palestinians dominated by the IslamistHamas movement.

Israel, the United States and European Union shun Hamas over its hostility towards Israel. Steinmeier did not meet officials of Hamas during his tour, which included a visit to a U.N. school for girls constructed with German aid.

Steinmeier, who met Israeli and West Bank-based Palestinian leaders before visiting Gaza, added that all sides to the conflict "recognise that we are sitting on a powder keg and are taking care that it doesn't ignite".

Güncelleme Tarihi: 01 Haziran 2015, 16:44