In an exclusive interview with the BBC at the Élysée Palace, French President Emmanuel Macron said there was “no justification” for the bombing of Gaza, saying a ceasefire would benefit Israel.
While recognising Israel’s right to protect itself, “we do urge them to stop this bombing” in Gaza, he said.
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded by saying “The responsibility for any harm to civilians lies with Hamas – ISIS and not with Israel.
“It must be remembered that Israel entered the war due to that terrorist organisation’s brutal murder of hundreds of Israelis and holding hostage more than 200 Israelis.
“While Israel does everything in its power to avoid harming civilians and urges them to leave the battle areas, Hamas – ISIS is doing all it can to prevent them from moving to safe areas and uses them as human shields.
“Hamas – ISIS is cruelly holding our people hostage – women, children, the elderly – and thus committing a crime against humanity.
“Hamas – ISIS is using schools, mosques and hospitals as terrorist command centers.
“The crimes being committed today by Hamas – ISIS in Gaza will be committed tomorrow in Paris, New York and all over the world.
“The leaders of the world should be condemning Hamas – ISIS, not Israel”.