Fri Jul 18, 2014 9:31PM
German Chancellor Angela Merkel
German Chancellor Angela Merkel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has affirmed her country’s support for the Israeli regime in its relentless offensive against Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip.

Merkel made the remarks at a press conference in Berlin on Friday, adding that Germany “stand[s] by the side of Israel."

She also said that the weapons used by the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas were of “a completely new quality.”

Israel has killed at least 290 people since it began its latest airstrikes against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip on July 8. About a third of the Palestinian fatalities are women and children.

Israel also launched a ground invasion in the Gaza Strip on Thursday after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu instructed the army to push the aggression against Gaza into a new stage.

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) says some 30,000 Gazans have headed to its shelters across the impoverished territory.

The internally displaced people are reportedly from the region’s east and south where people have fled their homes for fear of Israeli tank shelling and airstrikes.

Gaza has been blockaded since 2007, a situation that has caused a decline in the standard of living, unprecedented levels of unemployment, and unrelenting poverty.