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France's Macron Calls On Israel To Stop Bombing Hamas

France’s Macron Calls On Israel To Stop Bombing Hamas

In an exclusive interview at the Élysée Palace, French President, Emmanuel Macron said there was “no justification” for the bombing, saying a ceasefire would benefit Israel.

While recognizing Israel’s right to protect itself, “we do urge them to stop this bombing” in Gaza, he said. However, he also stressed that France “clearly condemns” the “terrorist” actions of Hamas.

France – like Israel, the US, the UK, and other Western nations – considers Hamas a terrorist organisation. When asked if he wanted other leaders – including in the US and the UK – to join his calls for a ceasefire, he replied: “I hope they will.” Israel says it attacks military targets in line with international law.

They also added that they take steps to reduce civilian casualties, like issuing warnings ahead of strikes and calling on people to evacuate.

Speaking the day after a humanitarian aid conference in Paris about the war in Gaza, Mr Macron said the “clear conclusion” of all governments and agencies present at that summit was “that there is no other solution than first a humanitarian pause. A ceasefire will allow for the protection of all civilians having nothing to do with terrorists”.

He added that it was not his role to judge whether international law had been broken.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded quickly to Mr Macron’s comments, saying nations should condemn Hamas, not Israel.

“The crimes that Hamas [is] committing today in Gaza will be committed tomorrow in Paris, New York and anywhere in the world,” a statement from Mr Netanyahu’s office read.

Starting by discussing Gaza, Mr Macron said France “clearly condemns” Hamas’s attacks on Israel on 7 October which sparked the war. Hamas gunmen killed about 1,200 people and took 240 others hostage in the unprecedented cross-border assault it launched that day.

“We do share [Israel’s] pain. And we do share their willingness to get rid of terrorism. We know what terrorism means in France.” But he said there was “no justification” for the ongoing bombing in Gaza.

“It’s extremely important for all of us because of our principles, because we are democracies. It’s important for the mid-to-long run as well for the security of Israel itself, to recognise that all lives matter.”

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