French President Emmanuel Macron said today he “hates the debate” over the value of “Jewish lives” and “Palestinian lives” and called for “civilians in Gaza to be protected first”.
“I hate this debate dividing people and saying: ‘For me Jewish lives are more important’ or ‘for me Palestinian lives would be more important’. This is crazy,” Macron said on a visit to the Kazakhstan capital.
“All lives matter in this world,” he stressed, speaking in English to students.
Civilians in Gaza “have nothing to do with the terrorist attacks”, Macron said.
Hamas gunmen killed 1,400 people, mostly civilians, when they rushed to the Gaza border into Israel on October 7 and took 240 hostages, according to Israeli officials.
Israel has relentlessly pounded Gaza in retribution for the worst attack in the country’s history, killing 8,796 people, according to the Hamas-run health ministry.
“You have to attack and punish the terrorist groups but civilians are not the ones to attack.” Macron said.
“You have to protect civilians in your counter attack … in order to focus on the terrorist groups.
“I want to make this distinction because all lives matter in this world,” he stressed.
This was why France and other EU leaders called for a humanitarian pause in the fighting, Macron said.
“We have to protect first civilians in Gaza. Because they have nothing to do with these terrorist attacks,” he added
Ambulances evacuated wounded residents out of Gaza to Egypt in a first today, with hundreds of foreign passport holders also poised to flee the territory after three weeks of war.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)