Macron asks Netanyahu for ‘lasting ceasefire’ in Gaza

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French President Emmanuel Macron demanded a “lasting ceasefire” in Gaza during a call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday, his office said, as an escalating humanitarian crisis grips the Palestinian territory.

“France will work in the coming days in cooperation with Jordan to carry out humanitarian operations in Gaza,” the French presidency added in a statement.

Macron, an ally of Netanyahu since the start of the war triggered by the unprecedented Hamas attack on Israel on Oct. 7, told the Israeli premier of his “deepest concern” about civilian deaths and the humanitarian emergency in Gaza.

He also insisted on the importance of measures to end violence by Israeli settlers against Palestinian civilians in the occupied West Bank and prevent new planned settlements.

Netanyahu’s office said during the call the prime minister thanked Macron for “France’s involvement in defending freedom of navigation and its willingness to help restore security along Israel’s border with Lebanon”.

The conflict erupted when Hamas gunmen attacked southern Israel, resulting in the deaths of about 1,140 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli figures.

Israel vowed to destroy Hamas and retaliated with relentless bombardment and a ground invasion in Gaza that has killed at least 21,110 people, mainly women and children, according to the territory’s Hamas-run health ministry.

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