Germany summons Palestinian envoy over President Abbas's Holocaust remarks
The German chancellery summoned the head of the Palestinian diplomatic mission in Berlin on Wednesday to protest Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' comparison of Israeli actions with the Holocaust, a German government spokesperson said.
"It is clear for us, the government and the chancellor, that the persecution and systematic murder of 6 million European Jews is an unparalleled crime against humanity," the spokesperson said at a regular news conference in Berlin.
During a visit to Berlin on Tuesday, Abbas accused Israel of committing "50 Holocausts" in response to a question about the upcoming 50th anniversary of the attack on the Israeli team at the Munich Olympics by Palestinian militants.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz voiced "disgust" over the remarks and said they diminished the importance of the Holocaust.
"For us Germans in particular, any relativisation of the singularity of the Holocaust is intolerable and unacceptable," Scholz tweeted on Wednesday. "I am disgusted by the outrageous remarks made by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas."
A statement from Abbas stressed that the comments were "not intended to deny the singularity of the Holocaust that occurred in the last century," according to the news website Wafa.
The statement read: "President Mahmoud Abbas reaffirms that the Holocaust is the most heinous crime in modern human history."
Six million Jews were killed in Nazi Germany's Holocaust.
Standing alongside Scholz, Abbas referred to a series of historical incidents in which Palestinians were killed by Israelis in the 1948 Nakba - the mass displacement of Palestinians that accompanied the creation of the state of Israel and in the years following.
The Nakba - Arabic for "catastrophe" - involved the forced transfer of around 750,000 indigenous Palestinians from their villages and homes. Thousands of Palestinians and millions of their descendants are still unable to return to their ancestral lands.