Germany, Sweden pledge humanitarian aid for Gaza

Germany offered more than €11 million ($15.3 million) for humanitarian efforts in Gaza this month. Foreign Ministry spokesman Jens Ploetner said Monday that the funds went to aid organizations. German Chancellor Angela Merkel advocates a cease-fire but says it must ensure Israel's security. Her office said she spoke Sunday with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, and Monday with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Later Monday she was set to speak with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Meanwhile Sweden said it would give 10 million kronor ($1.3 million) to a UN-administered fund for Gaza. It already had donated 7 million kronor. The Swedish International Development Agency said the funds were being used for hospitals, medicines and food.