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BERLIN: German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock will travel to Israel Sunday for her fourth visit since the outbreak of the war in Gaza, a ministry spokesman said.

Baerbock will hold talks with Israel’s new Foreign Minister Israel Katz, as well as President Isaac Herzog, foreign ministry spokesman Sebastian Fischer told a regular press conference on Friday.

She will also meet with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas and Palestinian foreign minister Riyad al-Maliki.

Baerbock will subsequently travel to Egypt to meet with her counterpart Sameh Shoukry and also planned to visit Lebanon.

Health ministry in Gaza says 22,600 killed in war

The talks would focus on the “dramatic humanitarian situation in Gaza, the situation in the West Bank and the extremely volatile situation on the Israel-Lebanon border”, as well as efforts to secure the release of more Hamas hostages, Fischer said.

Fears have grown that the conflict between Israel and Hamas could spread, after one of the militant group’s leaders was assassinated in the suburbs of the Lebanese capital Beirut.

In addition to the killing, widely assumed to have been carried out by Israel, the Israeli army has for months traded tit-for-tat fire across the border with Hezbollah militants.

The risk of escalation was “very real”, Fischer said. Germany on Wednesday urged its citizens to leave the country as quickly as possible.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also departed on Thursday at the start of a diplomatic tour of the Middle East, including Israel, also his fourth such trip since the war began.

Israeli forces search house to house in West Bank city

Israel launched its campaign against Hamas after the militant group’s October 7 attack, which resulted in the deaths of around 1,140 people, most of them civilians, according to an AFP tally based on official Israeli figures.

The militants also took around 250 hostages, 132 of whom remain in captivity, according to Israel, including at least 24 believed to have been killed.

Relentless Israeli bombardment and ground invasion have killed at least 22,438 people, most of them women and children, according to the Gaza health ministry.

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