On Saturday, November 11th, French President Emmanuel Macron called on Israel to cease its bombing campaign in Gaza, emphasizing the urgent need to protect civilians, including women and children. This plea, echoed across international media outlets such as Sky News, BBC, and Al Jazeera, comes amid escalating violence that has resulted in significant civilian casualties.
According to health officials in Gaza, the conflict has led to over 11,000 Palestinian deaths, predominantly women and children, following a surprise attack by Hamas on October 7, which killed at least 1,200 people, as per Israeli officials. The Israeli military’s response, involving intense bombings and ground assaults, has drawn international scrutiny and calls for restraint.
In an interview with the BBC, Macron condemned the “terrorist” actions of Hamas but also recognized Israel’s right to self-defense. However, he stressed the lack of legitimacy in the ongoing bombing of civilians in Gaza, urging Israel to halt these actions. “These babies, these ladies, these old people are bombed and killed. So there is no reason for that,” Macron stated.
French President Macron’s comments reflect a growing international concern over the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. The United Nations and various rights groups have warned about the dire situation, with the lives of one million children in Gaza said to be “hanging by a thread.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in response to Macron’s comments, emphasized that world leaders should condemn Hamas, not Israel. He warned that the crimes Hamas is committing in Gaza could be replicated in cities like Paris and New York.
Macron’s call for a ceasefire aligns with the outcomes of a humanitarian conference on Gaza held in Paris. The consensus at the summit was the need for a humanitarian pause leading to a ceasefire to protect all civilians unrelated to terrorist activities.
This situation in Gaza has also led to political responses within France. The French government has banned pro-Palestinian rallies and cracked down on protests against the civilian killings in Gaza, highlighting the complexities of the conflict and its international ramifications.
As the situation continues to evolve, Macron’s statements underscore the delicate balance between national security and humanitarian concerns, calling for an immediate cessation of violence to safeguard innocent lives in the conflict-ridden region.