Stop killing women and babies in Gaza, Macron tells Israel

World

Israel is facing mounting international pressure – including from its main ally – to do more to protect Palestinian civilians in Gaza.

The number of people killed in the Gaza Strip in the past five weeks now stands above 11,000, according to health officials in the territory.

Israeli forces have been waging war on Hamas militants who carried out a deadly rampage in southern Israel on 7 October.

Israel initially said more than 1,400 people were killed in the Hamas attack but the figure has since been revised down to around 1,200.

Follow latest: ‘Thousands’ flee Gaza’s largest hospital after ‘intense violence’ nearby

Palestinian families flee Gaza City. Pic: AP
Image:
Palestinian families flee Gaza City. Pic: AP

In his strongest comments to date on the plight of civilians caught in the crossfire, US secretary of state Antony Blinken told reporters on a visit to India: “Far too many Palestinians have been killed; far too many have suffered these past weeks.”

But Mr Blinken reaffirmed his country’s support for Israel’s campaign to ensure that Gaza can no longer be used “as a platform for launching terrorism”.

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Analysis: Inside Gaza

It comes as French President Emmanuel Macron said Israel must stop bombing Gaza and killing women and babies.

Speaking to the BBC on Friday, Mr Macron said France “clearly condemns” the “terrorist” actions of Hamas, but also recognises Israel’s right to protect itself.

“We do urge them to stop this bombing” in Gaza, he said.

Emmanuel Macron gestures as he speaks during an international humanitarian conference for civilians in Gaza

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has also said his country is prepared to take injured Palestinians from Gaza, as hospitals in the enclave report being overrun.

In London, a pro-Palestinian march will take place later today. It is the latest in a series of protests and has attracted headlines after Home Secretary Suella Braverman dubbed them “hate marches” due to a small minority of participants chanting inciteful slogans.

This weekend’s march is complicated further by it falling on Armistice Day.

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Man’s family wiped out in Israeli attack

How Israel has responded

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said world leaders should be condemning Hamas, not Israel.

“These crimes that Hamas (is) committing today in Gaza will be committed tomorrow in Paris, New York, and anywhere in the world,” Mr Netanyahu said.

Read more:
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Israel’s military cannot destroy an ideology – analysis

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Israel has said it does not aim its attacks at civilians and tries to protect them, and that Hamas militants have hidden command centres and tunnels underneath hospital buildings.

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