Palestinian leader calls for world to intervene in Gaza

( dpa ) - A senior Palestinian leader called on the international community to take urgent action to alleviate the situation in the Gaza Strip during a visit to Berlin.

Salam Fayyad, acting prime minister under President Mahmoud Abbas, called the situation in Gaza "dangerous.

"All measures must be taken by the world community to end this situation," Fayyad said after meeting German Foreign Minister Frank- Walter Steinmeier.

"In particular the border crossings must be opened to that the Palestinian authorities are able to take on their responsibilities," Fayyad said.

A situation had to be created where "people no longer have to live under these difficult conditions that lead to violence," he said.

Both Steinmeier and Fayyad stressed the need for talks to continue between Israel and the Palestinians on the basis agreed at the Annapolis conference called by US President George W Bush in November last year.

"There is an urgent need for both sides to proceed on the basis of the road map," Fayyad said.

" Israel must stick to the road map, particularly as regards halting settlement activities," he said, adding that the Palestinian side had made progress in fulfilling its obligations.

Fayyad earlier met Chancellor Angela Merkel. After the talks, Merkel's spokesman, Ulrich Wilhelm, said the chancellor had expressed support for the process initiated at Annapolis.

Fayyad had reported the difficult situation in the Gaza Strip, and Merkel had made clear that Qassam rocket attacks on Israeli territory from Gaza had to stop, Wilhelm said.

Steinmeier acknowledged the difficulties facing the Annapolis process, but said the aim was to resolve "even the difficult questions" by the end of the year, as agreed at Annapolis.

Steinmeier and Fayyad, along with German business leaders, presented a series of small projects under an initiative called "Future for Palestine."

Steinmeier said the projects were intended to be implemented quickly to improve the lives of the people of the Gaza Strip. They included schools and child centres, as well as facilities for people to meet.

"We need projects that can be realized on the ground very quickly," the German foreign minister said.

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