“We call on Israel to stop bombing Gaza,” the French president said in an interview with British public television. And he added that he hopes that other Western countries will join his appeal.
Macron was speaking to the BBC a day after a Paris conference on humanitarian aid in the Gaza Strip, where he said all governments and all agencies “clearly agreed that there is no other solution than to declare a ceasefire after the humanitarian pause to allow the protection of civilians, they no longer have anything in common with terrorists”.
“Children, women and old people are being bombed and killed. There is no legitimate reason for this. We call on Israel to stop it,” Macron said.
The BBC adds that Israel claims it is acting in accordance with international law. On this matter, Macron said that he is not the one who should judge his violations.
Europe is divided on the issue of support for Israel
While the position of some EU states towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict stems from “ancient” history, the position of others is more likely to be derived from the relations of current political leaders with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
In addition to condemning Hamas, he also said that France sympathizes with Israel’s pain and that it shares the determination to eradicate terrorism, but not in a way that kills civilians. “This is extremely important to us because of our principles. In the longer term, recognizing that everyone’s lives matter is also important for security in Israel,” Macron added.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu quickly replied to the French president remotely, according to which third countries should mainly condemn Hamas, not Israel.
“The crimes Hamas is committing today in Gaza will be committed tomorrow in Paris, New York and around the world,” Netanyahu’s office said in a statement, according to the BBC.
France belongs to the eight-member group of EU states that already voted at the end of last month for the adoption of the UN resolution calling for a humanitarian ceasefire. The majority of the EU abstained and several countries, including the Czech Republic, were against it.
The conflict between Hamas and Israel erupted after the October 7 terrorist attacks in which 1,400 Israelis were murdered and about 240 were kidnapped. Authorities in the Gaza Strip say that 11,000 Palestinians have been killed since then in retaliatory military action.
According to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk, war crimes were committed by both sides. Türk said this Wednesday while visiting the Rafah crossing between the Gaza Strip and Egypt.