PARIS: 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.
Israel has vowed to destroy the Palestinian militant group after it carried out the deadliest attack in the country’s history on October 7.
About 1,200 people, mostly civilians, were killed in Israel during the attack and around 240 taken hostage, according to Israeli officials.
The retaliatory Israeli air and ground campaign has killed 13,000 people in Gaza, mainly civilians and including thousands of children, according to the territory’s Hamas-run health ministry.
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 cease-fire.”
Macron also condemned violence against Palestinian civilians in the West Bank in a conversation with Palestinian president Mahmud 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.