BERLIN: During a news conference here with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, visiting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas incited fury when he accused Israel of committing a "Holocaust" against Palestinians.
Abbas said "Israel has committed 50 massacres in 50 Palestinian areas since 1947" and added "50 massacres, 50 Holocausts" during the joint press conference on Tuesday.
When a journalist asked Abbas if he would apologise to Israel on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Palestinian terrorist attack on the Israeli team during the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich that claimed the lives of 10 Israeli athletes and coaches as well as one German police officer, Abbas responded that he would not.
Abbas' response, which had been announced as the last question, was followed immediately by his spokesperson Steffen Hebestreit ending the news conference. With an expression of alarm and displeasure, Scholz listened to the statements but did not immediately respond. Hebestreit later claimed that Scholz was horrified by Abbas' remarks.
Any relativization of the Holocaust is repugnant and unacceptable for us Germans, in particular, Scholz subsequently told the German newspaper Bild. Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid also responded.
Mahmoud Abbas' claim that Israel committed "50 Holocausts" while on German land was both morally repugnant and a grotesque lie, according to Lapid.
Christian Democrats leader Friedrich Merz said the Chancellor should have "clearly and unequivocally contradicted the Palestinian President and asked him to leave!" Armin Laschet, a member of the Bundestag, called Abbas' accusations "the most disgusting speech ever heard in the German Chancellery."