Germany pledges 40 mln euros to support civilians in Gaza

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BERLIN, May 18 (Reuters) - Germany on Tuesday pledged 40 million euros ($48.86 million) to ramp up humanitarian aid for civilians in Gaza, where more than 52,000 Palestinians have been displaced by the latest Israeli air strikes, according to the U.N.

"Today, I will lobby for a better humanitarian supply in Gaza," German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said ahead of a meeting with his European Union counterparts to discuss the situation in Israel and Gaza, adding Germany would provide 40 million euros.

At the same time, Maas condemned rocket attacks on Israel out of Gaza by the Islamist militant group Hamas, and stressed that Israel had the right to self-defence.

($1 = 0.8186 euros)

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Reporting by Sabine Siebold

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