French President Emmanuel Macron has become the first Western leader to call on Israel to cease attacks on Gaza and killing civilians.
In an interview with the BBC, Macron said, “These babies, these ladies, these old people are bombed and killed,” he said. “So there is no reason for that,” he added. “So we do urge Israel to stop,” he added
He stressed that France “clearly condemns” the “terrorist” actions of Hamas and recognises Israel’s right to protect itself, however, “we do urge them to stop this bombing” in Gaza.
“I hope they will,” the French president said when asked if he wanted other leaders – including in the United States and Britain – to join his calls for a ceasefire.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded to Macron’s comments with a swift rebuke, asserting that world leaders should condemn Hamas, not Israel.
“These crimes that Hamas [is] committing today in Gaza will be committed tomorrow in Paris, New York and anywhere in the world,” Netanyahu said.
Referring to the humanitarian conference on Gaza held in Paris, Macron said that all governments and agencies present at that summit had a clear conclusion that, “there is no other solution than first a humanitarian pause, going to a ceasefire to protect all civilians having nothing to do with terrorists”.
Macron also remarked that “De facto – today, civilians are bombed – de facto. These babies, these ladies, these old people are bombed and killed. So there is no reason for that and no legitimacy. So we do urge Israel to stop,” he said.