France FM urges 'immediate humanitarian truce' in Gaza war

AFP , Sunday 5 Nov 2023

France's Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna called Sunday for an "immediate" humanitarian pause in the war on Gaza as casualties climb in the besieged Gaza Strip, whose population is living on dwindling supplies.

 Catherine Colonna
French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna speaks during a joint press conference with her Qatari counterpart following their meeting in Doha on November 5, 2023. AFP


"An immediate, durable, and observed humanitarian truce is absolutely necessary and must be able to lead to a ceasefire," Colonna told reporters during a visit to Qatar.

Colonna, who met with her Qatari counterpart in Doha, added that France was working to have a resolution on a truce adopted by the UN Security Council.

Her comments follow calls for a humanitarian "pause" by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who is back for a second tour of the region since the Al-Aqsa Flood operation on October 7.

Such pauses were a key focus of Blinken's talks in Israel on Friday, but the proposal drew short shrift from hawkish Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Netanyahu said he would not agree to a "temporary truce" with Hamas until it released more than 240 Israeli and foreign captives it captured during its October 7 offensive.

Since then, Israel has relentlessly bombarded the besieged Gaza Strip, leveling entire city blocks, displacing more than half of Gaza’s 2.3 million people, and killing more than 9,700 Palestinians, including 4,800 children and 2,550 women, according to the Palestinian health ministry.

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