Jerusalem, Oct 24 (EFE).- France’s President Emmanuel Macron arrived in Tel Aviv on Tuesday in the midst of an ongoing war between Israel and Islamist group Hamas with the aim of reducing an escalation of violence that has left more than 1,400 dead in Israel and more than 5,200 in the Gaza Strip.
French President Emmanuel Macron hugs a woman as he meets Israeli-French nationals who have lost loved ones, as well as families of hostages, at the Ben Gurion airport, near Tel Aviv, Israel, 24 October 2023. EFE-EPA/CHRISTOPHE ENA/POOL MAXPPP OUT
The French president will meet his Israeli counterpart, Isaac Herzog, as well as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, opposition leaders and families of the victims of the Hamas attack, to express his country’s solidarity.
French President Emmanuel Macron (C) meets with Israeli-French nationals who have lost loved ones, as well as families of hostages, at the Ben Gurion airport, near Tel Aviv, Israel, 24 October 2023. EFE-EPA/CHRISTOPHE ENA/POOL MAXPPP OUT
Macron will begin his agenda in the next few hours, an Israeli foreign ministry spokesperson told EFE, without giving more details.
French President Emmanuel Macron arrives at the Ben Gurion airport, near Tel Aviv, Israel, 24 October 2023. EFE-EPA/CHRISTOPHE ENA/POOL MAXPPP OUT
Macron intends to continue efforts to prevent a dangerous escalation in the region, in particular at Israel’s northern border with the powerful Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah, supported by Iran, according to French media reports, which cited official sources.
The French leader will also advocate for the well-being and security of civilians and will propose the resumption of a “genuine peace process” for the creation of a Palestinian state in exchange for a commitment by countries in the region to Israel’s security, the reports added.
Macron may also meet the president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, who governs parts of the occupied West Bank, as well as other leaders of Arab countries.
According to the Israeli government, 22 French nationals were killed and three remain missing after the surprise multi-pronged attack by Hamas against Israel on Oct. 7, which claimed the lives of 1,400 people in Israel. More than 200 people were also taken hostage during the attacks.
The attack led Israel to declare a war on Hamas, during which the Israeli military has killed more than 1,200 militants in Israeli territory and conducted a wave of airstrikes on the Strip, which have left more than 5,200 dead, 70 percent of them children, women and the elderly.
The exchange of fire between Israel and militias in southern Lebanon has also intensified along with an escalation of violence in the occupied West Bank, where at least 95 Palestinians have died in the 18 days of war. EFE