German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas leave after a press conference at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, on August 16, 2022. (Photo by JENS SCHLUETER / AFP)

During his visit to Berlin, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas accused Israel of a “Holocaust” against the Palestinians. “Israel has committed 50 massacres in 50 Palestinian locations since 1947 to this day,” said Abbas on Tuesday at a joint press conference with Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) in the Chancellery. “50 massacres, 50 holocausts,” he added.

Scholz followed the statements with a petrified expression, visibly annoyed and also made preparations to reply. His spokesman Steffen Hebestreit declared the press conference over immediately after Abbas’ reply. The question to the Palestinian President had previously been announced as the last. Hebestreit later reported that Scholz was outraged by Abbas’ statement.

After the appointment, Scholz rejected the “Holocaust” accusation in clear words. “Especially for us Germans, any relativization of the Holocaust is unbearable and unacceptable,” said the Chancellor of the “Bild” newspaper.

Prior to his controversial statement, Abbas was asked by a journalist if he would apologize to Israel on the 50th anniversary of the assassination of the Israeli Olympic team by Palestinian terrorists in Munich. Abbas said there were dead people killed by the Israeli army every day. “If we want to continue digging into the past, yes please.” Abbas did not respond to the Olympic attack in which eleven Israelis were killed.

Scholz had previously criticized Abbas on the open stage for describing Israeli politics as an “apartheid system”. “I want to say explicitly at this point that I do not adopt the word apartheid and that I do not think it is right to describe the situation,” said Scholz.

Abbas had previously said the “transformation into the new reality of a single state in an apartheid system” does not serve security and stability in the region.

In addition, Abbas called on the EU and the United Nations (UN) to fully recognize the Palestinian state. Currently, the Palestinians only have observer status at the UN. However, Scholz rejected Abbas’ request. Germany continues to support a two-state solution between Israelis and Palestinians, he said.