Paris, November 11: French President Emmanuel Macron said that Israel must stop killing babies and women in Gaza amid the raging war between the Jewish nation and the Hamas militant group in the besieged enclave. Speaking to the BBC on Friday night after the end of the annual Paris Peace Forum, the President said the "clear conclusion" of all governments and agencies present at that summit was "that there is no other solution than first a humanitarian pause, going to a ceasefire, which will allow (us) to protect... all civilians having nothing to do with terrorists".

"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," Macron said. The President went on to say that France "clearly condemns" the October 7 Hamas attack and "we do share (Israel's) pain. "And we do share their willingness to get rid of terrorism. We know what terrorism means in France." Israel-Hamas War: IDF Destroys Military Outpost ‘Badr’, Kills Many 'Terrorists'

But he said there was "no justification" for the ongoing bombing of civilians in Gaza. "It's extremely important for all of us because of our principles, because we are democracies. It's important for the mid-to-long run as well for the security of Israel itself, to recognise that all lives matter," Macron told the BBC When asked if Israel had broken international law in Gaza, the President said: "I'm not a judge. I'm a head of state." He added that it would not be right to criticise Israel, who he called "a partner and a friend". Israel-Palestine War: IDF’s 401st Brigade Eliminates 150 'Terrorists', Gains Control Over Hamas Strongholds in Northern Gaza

Israel Must Stop Killing Babies, Women in Gaza: Macron

But Macron said he disagreed that the best way for Israel to "protect (itself) is having a large bombing of Gaza", saying it was creating "resentment and bad feelings" in the region that would prolong the conflict. Macron also called on all French citizens to condemn antisemitic acts "without ambiguity", to be united against antisemitism and "share the pain or the compassion of Palestinians". In quick response to the President's statements, Israel said that countries should condemn Hamas and not the Jewish state. "The crimes that Hamas (is) committing today in Gaza will be committed tomorrow in Paris, New York and anywhere in the world," the BBC quoted the Israeli Prime Minister's Office as saying in a statement on Friday night.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Nov 11, 2023 10:45 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website