French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday called for Gaza militants Hamas to be added to the targets of an international coalition against the Islamic State (IS) group while on a solidarity visit to Israel after the October 7 attacks.
“France is ready for the international coalition against Daesh in which we are taking part for operations in Iraq and Syria to also fight against Hamas,” he told reporters, referring to the Islamic State group.
Macron also said there had to be a “decisive relaunch” of the Middle East peace process, following talks with leaders in Israel, whose army is building up to a ground invasion of the Gaza Strip with the declared aim of toppling Hamas.
The French president said he had proposed an international coalition in talks with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and to other “international partners”.
“We should build a regional and international coalition to battle against terrorist groups that threaten us all,” he told a joint news conference with Netanyahu.
Macron’s speech implies ‘training forces’ or ‘sharing intelligence’ with Israel
An Élysée Palace source said Macron’s proposal “draws inspiration from the experience of the Global Coalition against Daesh and seeing what aspects can be replicated against Hamas”.
It has focused on countering the IS group in Iraq and Syria but is also aimed at cutting off funding to the jihadists, the sharing of intelligence and support for many countries, including the training of Iraqi forces.
Macron was the latest in a string of western leaders to voice support for Israel’s riposte to the Palestinian militant group after the attacks which Israel says left 1,400 people dead, mostly civilians.
The Hamas government says 5,791 people have been killed in Israel’s retaliatory bombardment of the Palestinian enclave, also mainly civilians. Israel says that its hundreds of air raids each day aim for Hamas leaders and military targets.
Macron said extending the coalition would benefit Israel and its neighbours who are also “threatened” by Hamas, which is branded a terrorist organisation by the European Union and United States.
“The battle must be without mercy, but not without rule because we are democracies which fight against terrorists, democracies which respect the right to war and assure humanitarian access,” Macron said.
Macron’s office said before his visit that he would seek a “humanitarian truce” in Gaza while in Israel, but no mention was made after his talks with Netanyahu.
The French leader did call for a “decisive” new effort to move towards a Palestinian state, declaring: “The Palestinian cause must be heard with reason”.
“Israel’s security cannot be sustainable with a decisive relaunch of the political process with the Palestinians.”
The French leader was to go to Ramallah on Tuesday for talks with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian Authority said.
“Tomorrow I will be with several leaders from the region to concretely advance the agenda we have given ourselves,” he said.
Macron met some of the relatives of the 30 French people killed in the October 7 attacks and the nine people missing, at least one of whom has been confirmed as being a hostage.
He said freeing all hostages had to be the “first objective” of the military campaign.
Like other western leaders, Macron told Netanyahu and President Isaac Herzog that Israel was “not alone” and stressed how France has also suffered from militant attacks.
“I think this is our duty to fight against these terrorist groups, without any confusion, without … enlarging this conflict.”
(FRANCE 24 with AFP, REUTERS)
EMEA Tribune is not involved in this news article, it is taken from our partners and or from the News Agencies. Copyright and Credit go to the News Agencies, email [email protected] Follow our WhatsApp verified Channel