During his visit to Israel today, French President Emmanuel Macron suggested that the current coalition against the so-called Islamic State in Syria and Iraq should expand its scope to include the fight against Hamas. He did so in response to the October 7 attack by the radical Palestinian movement on Israel from the Gaza Strip, which left 1,400 dead.
“France is ready for the international coalition against Daesh (Arabic abbreviation for IS, note ČTK), which we participate in as part of operations in Iraq and Syria, to also fight against Hamas,” Reuters quoted Macron as saying after his meeting with the Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem.
Between 2013 and 2017, the Islamic State terrorist organization controlled large areas in Syria and Iraq. Dozens of countries, including the Czech Republic and a number of Arab states in the Middle East, are part of the coalition led by the United States, whose goal is to eliminate the threat from IS.
According to Macron, the expansion of the coalition is in the interest of the security of Israel and several neighboring countries, which are threatened by “the same groups”.
“The fight must be merciless, but not without rules, because we are a democracy fighting terrorists,” the French president added, according to AFP. He also appealed for Israel to provide “humanitarian access” to the residents of the Gaza Strip.
Why do Palestinians support Hamas?
The Palestinian radical movement Hamas, which Israel and the West consider terrorist, has ruled the Gaza Strip for 17 years. The ideology of Hamas commands the destruction of Israel, but in the past the movement was also capable of concessions.
Macron traveled to Israel on Tuesday to express France’s “full solidarity” with Israel following the October 7 Hamas attack that killed around 1,400 people, including 30 French citizens.
Since then, Israel has been carrying out intensive bombing of the Gaza Strip and is preparing for a possible ground offensive. According to authorities in the Gaza Strip, which is controlled by Hamas, almost 5,800 people have already been killed in Israeli shelling.