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Germany's Scholz calls Israeli PM following Abbas Holocaust comments

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BERLIN — German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Thursday that attempts to downplay or deny the Holocaust were unacceptable after criticism that he was slow to respond to remarks by the Palestinian president in Berlin. .

At a joint press conference with Scholz on Tuesday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas responded to questions about marking his 50th anniversary from the attack on the Israeli national team at the Munich Olympics, saying: He accused Israel of committing "50 Holocausts". Palestinian extremists.

"Our position is clear. We condemn any attempt to deny or downplay the significance of the Holocaust," Scholz said of Yair his Rapids. I tweeted after the call.

Scholz, who had previously rejected Abbas' explanation of Israel's relationship with Palestinian territories as "apartheid," was criticized by some for not immediately condemning Abbas' remarks. It was criticized by German politicians and the media.

The next day, Scholz expressed disgust at the comments, and a government spokesperson took responsibility for ending the joint press conference before Scholz could respond.

Israeli Prime Minister's Office said in a statement that at the beginning of the call, Mr. Scholz emphasized that he had refused to speak and condemned him, and said it was important to make this clear to Mr. Rapid personally and publicly. Stated.

"Prime Minister Rapid thanked him as the prime minister of Israel and as the son of a Holocaust survivor," his office said. Scholz and Rapid have agreed to meet in Berlin soon, the German Chancellor tweeted.

Both sides stressed the importance of Israeli-German relations and agreed to continue cooperation between the two countries in various fields.

They also discussed the Iranian nuclear issue.

Since the Holocaust and World War II, German politicians have emphasized a special responsibility to Israel.

In response to this protest, Abbas issued a statement calling the Holocaust in Nazi Germany, where six million Jews were murdered, "the most heinous crime in modern human history." (Reporting in Jerusalem by Madeleine Chambers and Ali Rabinovich; Written by Miranda Murray; Edited by Rachel More and Allison Williams)