French President Emmanuel Macron warned on Saturday that Israel’s goal of “complete destruction of Hamas” must be clearly defined, otherwise it will produce “ten more years” of war and called for redoubled efforts to achieve a permanent ceasefire.
“The complete destruction of Hamas…”, “…does anyone think this is possible?” Macron said at a press conference held on the sidelines of the COP28 conference in Dubai.
“If that is the goal, the war will last ten years,” Macron said and asked “the Israeli authorities to explain their goal.”
France is “very concerned” about the new violence in Gaza, Macron said and announced a trip to Qatar where he will try to contribute to efforts to agree a new ceasefire.
At the press conference, Macron said that the situation in Gaza requires a redoubled effort to achieve a permanent ceasefire and the release of all hostages.
“For Israel, there is no permanent security in the region if the security of that country is achieved at the cost of Palestinian lives, which brings with it resentment in the region. Let us be collectively discerning and sober,” he added.
“The effective fight against terrorism does not mean systematic and permanent bombing,” Macron said, “concerned” as the bombing was renewed after a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas expired on Friday.
“The correct response against a terrorist group does not mean eliminating the entire territory or bombing all civilian areas,” he said.
When it comes to the release of the hostages still held by Hamas, Macron believes that “a few more days of work are needed”, referring to the “current negotiations that are continuing”. Among the missing on October 7 are four French citizens.
Therefore, on Saturday evening in Qatar, the French president will have dinner with Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, the emir of this country, who is engaged in negotiations on the truce and the release of the hostages.