French President Emmanuel Macron said Saturday that France was “very concerned” by the resumption of violence in Gaza and that he was heading to Qatar to help in efforts to kickstart a new truce ahead of a cease-fire.
Macron also told a news conference at the COP28 climate summit in Dubai that the situation required the doubling down on efforts to obtain a lasting cease-fire and the freeing of all hostages.
A temporary truce between Israel and Hamas collapsed Friday after mediators were unable to extend the pause. Israel and Hamas have traded blame over the collapse.
Macron also urged Israel to clarify its goals toward Hamas.
“We are at a moment when Israeli authorities must more precisely define their objectives and their final goal: the total destruction of Hamas. Does anyone think it is possible?” he asked. “If this is the case, the war will last 10 years.”
“There is no lasting security for Israel in the region if its security is achieved at the cost of Palestinian lives and thus of the resentment of public opinions in the region,” he said. “Let’s be collectively lucid.”
Asked for a response to that remark, Mark Regev, a senior adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, told reporters Israel does not want to see Palestinian civilians in Gaza caught in the crossfire as battles resume.
“Israel is targeting Hamas, a brutal terrorist organization that has committed the most horrific violence against innocent civilians,” said Regev. “Israel is making a maximum effort to safeguard Gaza’s civilians.”