Israel-Hamas war: French President Macron in Tel Aviv to express 'full solidarity' (WATCH)
French President Emmanuel Macron arrived in Israel on Tuesday to express solidarity after Hamas attacks and called for a humanitarian truce in Gaza.
French President Emmanuel Macron arrived in Tel Aviv on Tuesday to express his country's "full solidarity" with Israel following the deadly October 7 attacks carried out by the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas. His visit comes more than two weeks after Hamas operatives entered Israel from the Gaza Strip, resulting in the deaths of at least 1,400 people, primarily civilians who were either shot, mutilated, or burned to death on the first day of the raid, according to Israeli officials. Among the victims were 30 French citizens.
Macron's scheduled meetings included discussions with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to convey France's unwavering support for Israel in the aftermath of the attack. He is also expected to call for the protection of the civilian population in Gaza as Israel continued its extensive bombardment and prepared for a potential ground invasion of the densely populated Palestinian territory.
According to the Hamas-run health ministry, over 5,000 people, the majority of whom were women and children, have lost their lives during Israel's military operations. Macron is set to advocate for a "humanitarian truce" to facilitate the much-needed delivery of aid to Gaza, where its 2.4 million residents have faced severe shortages of essential resources, including water, food, and electricity, due to the Israeli blockade.
In addition to meetings with Prime Minister Netanyahu, Macron is expected to hold a joint press conference. He is also scheduled to meet with Israeli President Isaac Herzog, as well as opposition leaders Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid in Jerusalem. In Tel Aviv, Macron is slated to meet with the families of French and French-Israeli nationals who were either killed in the Hamas attack or held hostage in Gaza.
Notably, seven French citizens remain missing, with one of them, a French woman, confirmed as among the over 200 people taken hostage by Hamas, according to Israel. Macron has stated that the remaining individuals are also believed to be hostages, although their status has yet to be officially confirmed.
The French president's visit aimed to continue efforts to prevent a dangerous escalation in the region, particularly concerning the rising tensions between Israel and the Iran-backed Hezbollah in Lebanon. Macron proposed the relaunch of a "true peace process" with the goal of establishing a viable Palestinian state in exchange for security guarantees from regional powers to ensure Israel's safety.
During his visit, Macron is expected to engage in discussions with Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas, King Abdullah II of Jordan, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, and leaders of Gulf nations. Several other world leaders, including US President Joe Biden, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, and Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, had previously visited Israel.