Berlin police have opened a preliminary investigation against Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas over his comments this week that Israel had committed “50 Holocausts” against Palestinians.
The remarks, during a news conference in Berlin alongside German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, sparked outrage in Germany, Israel and beyond.
Police confirmed a report by German daily Bild that Mr Abbas was being investigated for possible incitement to hatred after receiving a formal criminal complaint.
Downplaying the Holocaust is a criminal offence in Germany, but the opening of a preliminary inquiry does not automatically entail a full investigation.
Germany’s Foreign Ministry said that Mr Abbas – as a representative of the Palestinian Authority – would enjoy immunity from prosecution because he was visiting the country in an official capacity.
Germany does not recognise the Palestinian Territories as a sovereign state, a position Mr Scholz reaffirmed on Tuesday.