Israel's goal of destroying Hamas risks decade of war: Macron

AFP , Ahram Online , Saturday 2 Dec 2023

French President Emmanuel Macron warned Saturday that Israel's aim of eliminating Hamas risks unleashing a decade of war.

France s President Emmanuel Macron speaks during a meeting on the Coal Transition Accelerator Initiative at the COP28 United Nations climate summit in Dubai on December 2, 2023. AFP


Achieving the "total destruction of Hamas" would mean "the war will last 10 years," Macron said at a press conference on the sidelines of the 28th UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai.

Macron appealed for intensified efforts to reach a lasting ceasefire in Gaza, a day after Israel restarted its war on the strip after a seven-day truce collapsed on Friday.

"This situation requires stepped-up efforts to reach a lasting ceasefire, to free all hostages held by Hamas, allow more urgently needed aid into Gaza, and to assure Israel of its security."

According to the UN, an estimated 1.7 million people in Gaza – around 80 percent of the population – have been displaced by eight weeks of near-constant Israeli bombardment of the strip.

The population is short of food, water, and other essentials, and many homes have been destroyed, a situation UN agencies have declared a humanitarian catastrophe.

After the truce expired on Friday, Israel blocked the entry of aid convoys into Gaza through the Rafah border crossing with Egypt, the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRC) said.

However, aid began to trickle in on Saturday, with the PRC confirming the arrival of 50 trucks carrying aid.

Israel’s war on Gaza has so far killed more than 15,200 Palestinians, 70 percent of them women and children, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.

On Friday, Israeli bombardment killed nearly 200 people across the strip and the Israeli army issued orders for residents in the north to evacuate.

Further south, the army dropped leaflets in Arabic ordering civilians in the villages around Khan Younis to evacuate toward Rafah in the southmost of the Gaza Strip.

Doctors Without Borders (MSF) on Friday called on Israel to rescind its evacuation orders to Palestinian civilians immediately, saying there is no place in Gaza that is safe from the indiscriminate bombing.

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