French President Emmanuel Macron told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu there were “too many civilian losses” in Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza, his office said Sunday.
Macron, whose country is a firm ally of Israel, reminded Netanyahu of the “absolute necessity to distinguish terrorists from the population” and “the importance of achieving an immediate humanitarian truce leading to a ceasefire”.
Unprecedented Israeli bombardment has killed over 13,000 people in Gaza – mainly civilians and including thousands of children – since 7 October, when Hamas attacked southern Israel, killing about 1,200 people and taking over 200 others hostage.
Israel has vowed to destroy Hamas, but has been heavily condemned for its collective punishment in Gaza, especially as it has targeted hospitals and journalists.
Macron also condemned violence against Palestinian civilians in the occupied West Bank in a conversation with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, the French presidency said.
The French leader told Netanyahu about his “great concern over the escalation in violence against Palestinian civilians” in the West Bank and called for calm.
Macron also told Abbas of “the need for the Palestinian Authority and all countries in the region to unequivocally and with the greatest firmness condemn the terrorist attack carried out by Hamas in Israel on October 7”.
Israeli troops and settlers have killed more than 200 Palestinians in the West Bank since the war began, according to the health ministry in Ramallah.
Earlier on Sunday, Macron’s office announced that France was preparing to send a helicopter carrier to the eastern Mediterranean to offer medical assistance in Gaza.