As calls for ceasefire in the ongoing Israel-Hamas war get stronger, a prominent political voice in global politics has called on Israel to stop bombing in Gaza. In an interview to BBC, French President Emmanuel Macron has asked Israel to stop its bombing campaign in Gaza Strip.
While Macron agreed that Israel had right to defend itself after October 7 Hamas attack, he added, “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.”
Watch | Israel-Hamas war: Israeli forces encircle Al Shifa hospital
Israel on Friday revised death toll estimate from the Hamas attack from 1400 to 1200.
Macron said during the interview that France “clearly condemns” the October 7 Hamas attack.
On October 7, Hamas fighters crossed border from Gaza Strip to launch attack inside Israel. In addition to killing 1200 people, Hamas fighters also took 240 people hostage.
Israel since then has given an overwhelming military response. Israeli planes have bombarded Gaza Strip with hundreds of air-raids. A ground assault into Gaza has also been launched with deployment of troops and tanks.
According to Hamas-run health ministry in the Gaza Strip, the death toll in the enclave has crossed 11,000 mark.
“We do share [Israel’s] pain. And we do share their willingness to get rid of terrorism,” Macron told BBC. He gave the interview on the fringes of a peace forum in Paris.
“We know what terrorism means in France,” he said. But added that bombing of civilians had no justification.
“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,” he said further.
When Macron was asked whether he thought Israel breached international law, Macron said, “”I’m not a judge. I’m a head of state”
He further said that France sought to be “a partner and a friend” to Israel.
He said during the interview that he did not agree that ideal way for Israel to “protect [itself] is having a large bombing of Gaza”. He said such an approach was creating “resentment and bad feelings” in the Middle East.
Within hours of Macron’s statement, Israel PM’s office shot back at him.
Office of Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu posted his reaction on French President Emmanuel Macron’s statement.
“Statement by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu regarding the remarks by French President Emmanuel Macron: “The responsibility for any harm to civilians lies with Hamas – ISIS and not with Israel.”
The post was made on social media platform X (Formerly Twitter)
(With inputs from agencies)