French president Emmanuel Macron has called for a ceasefire in Gaza and has urged Israel to stop “killing babies and women.”
In doing so he has become the first major Western leader to call for the Israelis to halt their genocidal attacks on the Palestinians.
It is important for Israel’s security to “recognise that all lives matter,” Macron told the BBC at the Elysee presidential palace in Paris.
He added that he hoped that other leaders would join his demand for a ceasefire.
“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.
Macron, however, backed Israel’s “right to self-defence” and refused to comment on if Israel had broken international laws, according to the BBC.
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded quickly to Mr Macron’s comments, saying nations should condemn Hamas, not Israel.
“The crimes that Hamas [is] committing today in Gaza will be committed tomorrow in Paris, New York and anywhere in the world,” a statement from Mr Netanyahu’s office read.
Since the start of the war, France has banned pro-Palestinian rallies and cracked down on those taking to the streets to protest against the killing of civilians in Gaza.
Israel has launched relentless air and ground attacks on the Gaza Strip – including hospitals, residences, and houses of worship – since a cross-border attack by the Palestinian group Hamas on October 7.
At least 11,078 Palestinians have been killed, including 4,506 children and 3,027 women.
The Israeli death toll is nearly 1,200, according to official figures.