French President Emmanuel Macron has voiced his firm “solidarity” with Israel amidst ongoing tensions in the Gaza Strip, particularly in light of the recent attacks by Hamas on October 7. During his visit to Jerusalem, Macron stated, “What happened will never be forgotten,” as he solidified France’s stance alongside Israel.
A United Front Against Terrorism
In a joint press conference with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Macron emphasized the shared objective of France and Israel: to counteract terrorism. He further elucidated that lasting peace in the Middle East would be achievable only through a balanced "political approach" by Israel towards the conflict.
Additionally, Macron underscored the significance of countries that previously united against ISIL (ISIS) to come together again. He clarified France's stance to Netanyahu, saying, "France is ready for the international coalition against Daesh (ISIL) in which we are taking part [in] operations in Iraq and Syria to also fight against Hamas”.
Macron's visit to Israel follows a series of visits from Western leaders, including those from the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, and Italy, reflecting the global concern over the escalating tensions in the region.
Macron's Four-Point Plan for Peace
According to an Al Jazeera correspondent, Macron's visit was underscored by a four-point plan aiming at de-escalation in the region. The proposed strategy includes preventing further escalation of tensions, securing the release of captives in Gaza, ensuring Israel's safety, and steadfastly moving towards a two-state solution.
Further detailing Macron’s intentions, the French news agency AFP shared insights from Macron’s office prior to his visit. The French president is set to advocate for the “preservation of the civilian population” in Gaza, in light of the intense bombardment.
Additionally, he will push for the "resumption of a genuine peace process" to facilitate the creation of a Palestinian state. In a move reflecting his concern for the humanitarian crisis, Macron is also slated to call for a “humanitarian truce”.
This would permit critical aid to reach the inhabitants of Gaza. The region, which is home to approximately 2.3 million people, has been experiencing severe shortages. An Israeli blockade has left the residents desperately in need of essentials like water, food, electricity, and fuel, according to information from the Elysee Palace relayed by AFP.