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Macron expresses ‘full solidarity’ in wartime visit to Israel

The French president was set to call for the “preservation of the civilian population” in Hamas-ruled Gaza and “halting the colonization” of Judea and Samaria.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with French President Emmanuel Macron in Jerusalem, Oct. 24, 2023. Photo by Kobi Gideon/GPO.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with French President Emmanuel Macron in Jerusalem, Oct. 24, 2023. Photo by Kobi Gideon/GPO.

French President Emmanuel Macron arrived in Israel on Tuesday to express “full solidarity” with the Jewish state amid its ongoing war against the Hamas terror group.

The French leader is pressing for the “preservation of the civilian population” in the Gaza Strip, “halting the colonization” of Judea and Samaria and the “resumption of a genuine peace process” to create a Palestinian state, according to his office.

“The only way to be useful is to one, show solidarity with Israel; two, make commitments against terrorist groups very clear; and three, to open up a political perspective,” added Macron.

He met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Isaac Herzog and other top officials.

The Palestinian Authority announced that Macron would also travel to Ramallah to meet with P.A. chief Mahmoud Abbas.

On Monday, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte traveled to Jerusalem as part of a day-long visit that included meetings with the family of a dual Dutch-Israeli citizen held captive by Hamas, as well as with Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas.

The Netherlands’ NOS public broadcaster cited the Dutch premier as saying he had “a good, but tough conversation” with his “friend” Netanyahu.

“I reiterated how terrible Hamas’s attack on Israel is and that they have the right to defend themselves. But Israel has a strong military position, so I also said: Be aware, we are very concerned about access to humanitarian aid in Gaza,” Rutte told NOS.

Earlier on Monday, Netanyahu hosted Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis at the Prime Minister’s Office.

“I always say that the best thing about standing with Israel is standing in Israel. And you’re doing that. I appreciate the solidarity of you, your government, the people of Greece, at this darkest hour,” said Netanyahu.

“It’s a battle against civilization. It’s civilization against barbarism. We’re on the side of civilization. We have to unite, all together, against Hamas, which is ISIS,” he added.

On Saturday night, as Israel’s war against Hamas entered its third week, Netanyahu met separately in Tel Aviv with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulides.

“This is a test, a test of civilization, and we will win. And we expect all the countries that lined up to fight ISIS to line up and fight Hamas, because Hamas is the new ISIS,” Netanyahu told Meloni.

Last week, U.S. President Joe Biden, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak all visited the Jewish state.

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