Macron says 'massive' Israeli ground offensive would be an 'error'
After Biden and Sunak, Macron visits Israel to discuss ongoing Gaza crisis and push for a humanitarian ceasefire
French president Emmanuel Macron has said a "massive" Israeli ground operation in Gaza would be an "error."
"A massive intervention that would put civilian lives at risk would be an error," he said following a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi.
Sissi also warned against Israel's expected ground invasion of Gaza, stressing it was important to seek to avoid such an invasion.
"This incursion could result in a very large number of civilian victims," Sissi said during a press conference with Macron.
The Egyptian president also added that he discussed with Macron "the importance of providing the chance and time to work for the release of more hostages and prisoners present in the Gaza Strip through calming the situation."
Earlier, France said it would send a navy ship to support the hospitals of the besieged Gaza Stip, which are facing collapse amid a strict blockade and ongoing Israeli airstrikes.
Macron said the ship would leave Toulon "in the next 48 hours.".
Macron also said his country would send a planeload of medical equipment to Egypt on Thursday, to be delivered to Gaza. He promised that "others will follow."
"There's no double standard. International law applies to everyone," Macron said in Cairo. "All victims deserve our compassion, our commitment toward a fair and sustainable peace in the Middle East."
Macron arrived in Israel on Tuesday, following in the footsteps of US President Joe Biden, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
The French president met with Israeli President Isaac Herzog and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, expressing his support for Israel against Hamas but also calling for a humanitarian cease-fire. He later met with the president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, in the West Bank.
Published: 26 Oct 2023, 11:44 AM