The French president visited Israel to show France's solidarity in the aftermath of a major Hamas attack

Macron proposes to Netanyahu that the international coalition against IS be extended to Hamas

PHOTO/POOL/AFP/CHRISTOPHE ENA - TOPSHOT - El primer ministro israelí, Benjamin Netanyahu (Derecha), estrecha la mano del presidente francés, Emmanuel Macron (Izquierda), tras su rueda de prensa conjunta en Jerusalén el 24 de octubre de 2023
PHOTO/POOL/AFP/CHRISTOPHE ENA - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) shakes hands with French President Emmanuel Macron (L) after their joint press conference in Jerusalem on October 24, 2023

French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday proposed to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the "international coalition" against the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group should be extended to Hamas. 

"Hamas is a terrorist group whose goal is the destruction of the state of Israel, as is the case with the Islamic State, al-Qaeda and their partners in action and intention. The priority, yours, but also that of all democracies and of France, is to defeat these groups," Macron said at a joint press conference with Netanyahu. 

In this regard, the French leader proposed "a regional and international coalition to fight terrorist groups". 

"France is ready so that the international coalition against the Islamic State, of which we are part in our operation in Iraq and Syria, can also fight Hamas," he stressed.

Macron explained that he had come to Israel to communicate France's solidarity in the face of the common enemy, "terrorism", and stressed "Israel's legitimate right to defend itself" against the Islamist group Hamas, which carried out an attack on Israeli soil on 7 October in which more than 1,400 people were killed and 222 others were kidnapped and taken to the Gaza Strip. 

Even so, Macron considered that Israel must accept "the legitimate right of the Palestinians" to have their own state. 

For his part, Netanyahu assured that everyone stands to lose, not just Israel, if Hamas wins this war. 

"Europe would be in danger, everyone would be in danger, civilisation would be in danger (...) That's why this fight is not only ours, it's yours, it's America's, a battle for the future of the Middle East and the Arab world," he added.

PHOTO/POOL/AFP/CHRISTOPHE ENA - TOPSHOT - El primer ministro israelí, Benjamin Netanyahu (Derecha), estrecha la mano del presidente francés, Emmanuel Macron (Izquierda), tras su rueda de prensa conjunta en Jerusalén el 24 de octubre de 2023
PHOTO/POOL/AFP/CHRISTOPHE ENA - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) shakes hands with French President Emmanuel Macron (L) after their joint press conference in Jerusalem on October 24, 2023

In the 18 days of war, Israel has not stopped bombing the entire length of the Gaza Strip, where more than 5,700 people have been killed and 16,200 wounded, 70% of them children, women and the elderly. 

"The fight must be without mercy, but not without rules," Macron warned, stressing that democracies "respect the laws of war, guarantee humanitarian access and do not target civilians. Not in Gaza or anywhere else". 

And he advocated allowing more humanitarian aid to enter and "restoring electricity to hospitals for the sick and wounded, without this electricity being used for war".

"We will cooperate in a very concrete way in this regard," he said. 

The French president also spoke of the importance of resuming negotiations to find a lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through the creation of a Palestinian state.

PHOTO/POOL/AFP/CHRISTOPHE ENA - El presidente francés Emmanuel Macron (izq.) estrecha la mano del presidente de Israel Isaac Herzog durante una reunión en Jerusalén, el 24 de octubre de 2023
PHOTO/POOL/AFP/CHRISTOPHE ENA - French President Emmanuel Macron (L) shakes hands with Israel's President Isaac Herzog during a meeting in Jerusalem on October 24, 2023

Macron arrived in Tel Aviv on Tuesday and also met with Israeli President Isaac Herzog and relatives of the victims. He is scheduled to meet with members of the opposition. 

He is also expected to meet in Ramallah (occupied West Bank) with the President of the Palestinian National Authority, Mahmoud Abbas.

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