German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, wearing a kippa, walks back to his seat after adressing the audience during a central commemoration ceremony for the 85th anniversary of the Night of Broken Glass (Kristallnacht) taking place in the Beth Zion Synagogue in Berlin on November 9, 2023. AFP
Israel has relentlessly pounded the densely populated Hamas-run Palestinian territory and sent in troops on a mission to destroy the Islamist militant group, sparking an escalating humanitarian crisis.
"I don't think the calls for an immediate ceasefire or long pause -- which would amount to the same thing -- are right," Scholz said in a debate organised by the German regional daily Heilbronner Stimme.
"That would mean ultimately that Israel leaves Hamas the possibility of recovering and obtaining new missiles," he added, calling instead for "humanitarian pauses".
Scholz's stance clashes with many Arab countries, France's Emmanuel Macron and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is due to meet the German leader in Berlin next week.