German foreign minister travels to Middle East, calls for more humanitarian aid for Gaza

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FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock is travelling to the Middle East on Sunday because not enough help is getting to Gaza and the Israeli government must open the border crossings to a lot more aid, she said in a statement.

Ahead of her trip to Egypt, Israel and the Palestinian territories, Baerbock said every aid crate sitting on trucks in front of Gaza's border fences is one too many.

Since the Oct. 7 attacks on Israel by Hamas, Baerbock has visited the region six times and said she would go again to do everything possible to find a solution.

"Air drops or sea bridges are not a sustainable solution," the green party politician said, adding that military action has its limits in international humanitarian law. Following the Oct. 7 attacks, Israel launched a major military offensive that is still ongoing.

"Hamas must lay down its arms and never again bring the terror of Oct. 7 to the people of Israel. But this goal cannot be achieved purely militarily," she said.

Baerbock said only an immediate humanitarian ceasefire leading to a permanent cessation would keep hopes for peace alive and end suffering on all sides.

She said her discussions would focus on what the political horizon might look like. Only the prospect of a two-state solution with a reformed Palestinian Authority as a first step towards a democratic Palestinian state could offer people a life of security and dignity, she said.

(Reporting by Emma-Victoria Farr, editing by Giles Elgood)