Israel must stop bombing Gaza and killing civilians, French President Emmanuel Macron told the BBC in an interview published late on Friday.
Macron said there was “no justification” for the bombing and saying a ceasefire would benefit Israel.
He said that France “clearly condemns” the “terrorist” actions of Hamas, but that while recognizing Israel’s right to protect itself, “we do urge them to stop this bombing” in Gaza.
When asked if he wanted other leaders – including in the United States and Britain – to join his calls for a ceasefire, Macron said: “I hope they will.”
Israel has faced growing calls for restraint in its month-long war with Hamas but says the Gaza-based militants, who attacked Israel on Oct. 7 and took hostages, would exploit a truce to regroup.
Speaking the day after a humanitarian aid conference in Paris about the war in Gaza, 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, going to a ceasefire, which will allow to protect … all civilians having nothing to do with terrorists".
“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.