Israel must stop killing babies and women in Gaza, French President Emmanuel Macron has told the BBC.
In an exclusive interview at the Élysée Palace, he said there was “no justification” for the bombing, saying a ceasefire would benefit Israel.
While recognising Israel’s right to protect itself, “we do urge them to stop this bombing” in Gaza, he said.
But he also stressed that France “clearly condemns” the “terrorist” actions of Hamas.
France – like Israel, the US, the UK, and other Western nations – considers Hamas a terrorist organisation.
When asked if he wanted other leaders – including in the US and the UK – to join his calls for a ceasefire, he replied: “I hope they will.”
After a month of Israeli bombardment and nearly two weeks after Israel launched a major ground offensive into the territory, Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry said on Friday that 11,078 people had been killed, while 1.5 million had fled their homes.
Israel says it attacks military targets in line with international law and takes steps to reduce civilian casualties, like issuing warnings ahead of strikes and calling on people to evacuate.
Speaking the day after a humanitarian aid conference in Paris about the war in Gaza, Mr 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 [us] 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 it was not his role to judge whether international law had been broken.