French president expresses concern over heavy civilian death toll in Gaza

French president expresses concern over heavy civilian death toll in Gaza

Emmanuel Macron urges Israel to protect civilians, appeals for immediate humanitarian aid, advocates for cease-fire efforts with international support

By Esra Taskin

PARIS (AA) - French President Emmanuel Macron expressed concern late Wednesday over the heavy loss of life among the civilian population in Gaza.

A statement from the Elysee Palace said Macron discussed the situation in Gaza and the region in a phone call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

It said Macron conveyed his concerns to Netanyahu about the heavy civilian death toll in Gaza amid the intensified conflict and the urgent humanitarian situation.

The statement highlighted that Macron reminded Netanyahu of Israel's obligation to protect civilians and emphasized the urgent need to deliver necessary aid to the civilian population in Gaza.

It said Macron advocated for efforts towards a lasting cease-fire with the assistance of international and regional partners, adding that France along with Jordan will conduct humanitarian aid operations in Gaza in the coming days.

The French leader also emphasized the need for Israel to take measures to end the violence by Jewish settlers against Palestinian civilians and to halt new settlement projects in the West Bank, saying this situation threatens the two-state solution.

Macron also conveyed messages to Iran and its affiliated groups to stay away from the conflict to prevent it from spreading in the region and highlighted the importance of the full implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701.

The UN resolution calls for Israel to withdraw behind the Blue Line and disarmament of the region between this line and the Litani River in Lebanon, allowing only the Lebanese army and the UN Interim Force in Lebanon to possess weapons and military equipment in the area.

*Writing by Alperen Aktas from Istanbul

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