Macron acknowledged to the BBC that Israel had “the right to protect itself”, but at the same time called on it to stop the bombing of the Gaza Strip.
However, he emphasized that France clearly condemns the terrorist acts of the Palestinian movement Hamas, which killed 1,200 people and took roughly 240 hostages in southern Israel more than a month ago.
France, like the US, Britain and other Western countries, considers Hamas a terrorist organization. Asked by a BBC journalist if he wanted other leaders, including the US and UK, to join his call for a ceasefire, Macron said: “I hope they do.”
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Macron spoke to the BBC a day after a Paris humanitarian conference on the Gaza Strip.
According to the French president, all the governments and organizations at the conference came to a “clear conclusion” that “there is no other solution than first a humanitarian pause transitioning to a ceasefire”, which will allow to protect “all civilians who have nothing to do with terrorists”.
“De facto – civilians are being bombed today – de facto. These little children, these women, these old people are being bombed and killed. So there is no reason and no authorization for it. We therefore urge Israel to stop,” Macron said.
The president admitted that it is not up to him as head of state to judge whether international law has been violated.
“We share the pain (with Israel). And we share their determination to get rid of terrorism. We in France know what terrorism means,” emphasized Macron, who described Israel as a “partner and friend.”