French President Emmanuel Macron “urges Israel to stop” the bombings that are killing civilians in Gaza, in an interview with the BBC broadcast on Friday evening.
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“We share (Israel’s) pain. And we share their desire to eliminate terrorism.” But “de facto, today, civilians are being bombed. These babies, these women, these elderly people are being bombed and killed.” There is “no justification” and “no legitimacy for this. Therefore, we ask Israel to stop,” he stressed.
Hamas’ Ministry of Health announced that 11,078 people, including 4,506 children, have been killed in Israeli shelling of the Gaza Strip since the start of the war sparked by the Palestinian Islamist movement’s bloody attack on Israel on October 7 .
This “reaction in the fight against terrorism, because it is led by a democracy, must be consistent with the international rules of war and international humanitarian law,” said the French president.
Asked about a possible violation of international law by Israel, Emmanuel Macron stressed that “he is not a judge”, but “a head of state”.
He also expressed concern that the “massive bombardment” of Gaza would create “resentment” in the region.
This interview comes the day after a “humanitarian conference” organized on Thursday in Paris at the initiative of the French president during which he asked to “work for a ceasefire”.
“There is no other solution than a humanitarian pause first” to move towards a “ceasefire, which will protect all civilians who have nothing to do with the terrorists”, he insisted on Friday.
“It is impossible to explain that we want to fight terrorism by killing innocent people,” the French president stressed.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reacted to Mr. Macron stressing that “responsibility for any harm done to civilians lies with Hamas”, which started the war with the massacres of October 7 and which uses civilians as “human shields”.
On the Israeli side, 1,200 people, according to a new official figure revised downwards on Friday, have died since the start of the war, most of them civilians killed on the day of the attack by Hamas, classified as a terrorist organization by Israel , the United States and the European Union.