Macron opposes Israeli offensive on Rafah in call with PM

French president speaks to Netanyahu one day after France sanctions 28 settlers for their violence against Palestinians; urges Israel to enforce law against illegal West Bank outposts and repeats France's position supporting 2-state solution

Tamar Sebok, Paris|
French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday spoke to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and expressed his concern over the possible offensive on Rafah. Macron and Netanyahu spoke one day after France imposed sanctions on 28 West Bank settlers.
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"This could only lead to a humanitarian catastrophe of a new magnitude and to forced displacement of populations, which would constitute violations of international human rights and bring additional risk of regional escalation," his office said in a statement.
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עמנואל מקרון בנימין נתניהו
עמנואל מקרון בנימין נתניהו
Benjamin Netanyahu, Emmanuel Macron
(Photo: Christophe Ena / AFP, Ludovic Marine / AFP)
The French president reiterated France's commitment to Israel's security, on the call but called for the dismantling of illegal outposts in the West Bank and voiced his criticism over the lack of enforcement against violent settlers, in a tone seen by officials to indicate that more sanctions may follow.
The Elyzee said in a statement that the two leaders discussed the situation in the Gaza Strip and the need to bring about the release of all Israeli hostages held there by Hamas, including three French citizens.
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נשיא צרפת עמנואל מקרון נפגש עם משפחות של הרוגים וחטופים לאחר שנחת בנתב"ג
נשיא צרפת עמנואל מקרון נפגש עם משפחות של הרוגים וחטופים לאחר שנחת בנתב"ג
French President Emmanuel Macron meets with the families of hostages held by Hamas in Gaza
(Photo: Christophe Ena / Reuters )
Macron also highlighted the importance of a cease-fire agreement that would ensure the security of all civilians, as well as the need to massively increase humanitarian aid supplies into Gaza.
The president spoke of the need to prevent further escalation in the Red Sea and voiced his support for UN resolution 1701 that would remove Hezbollah forces for the Lebanon border with Israel. He concluded his remarks by repeating his country's support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
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