French President Emmanuel Macron calls President Isaac Herzog to continue his damage control over his remarks from Friday, in which he told BBC there was “no justification” for Israel’s alleged bombing of “these babies, these ladies, these old people,” reiterating his call for a ceasefire in Gaza and saying “there is no reason for that and no legitimacy. So we do urge Israel to stop.”
According to Herzog’s office, Macron called to make clear that he “does not and did not intend to accuse Israel of intentionally harming innocent civilians in the campaign against the terrorist organization Hamas.”
“President Macron also emphasized that he unequivocally supports Israel’s right and duty to self-defense, and expressed his support for Israel’s war against Hamas,” the statement from the Israeli President’s Residence continues.
“President Macron explained that his comments during the interview were made in reference to the humanitarian situation, which remained an important issue for him and many countries,” the statement says. “President Macron reiterated to President Herzog his commitment to demanding the immediate release of the hostages, and noted he was working to help on this important issue.”
Herzog says Macron’s reported comments “caused much pain and upset in Israel,” and welcomed Macron’s walking back of the comments in several statements and in the call with Herzog.
“The State of Israel and the IDF continue to act in a humanitarian manner and in accordance with international law,” Herzog is quoted as telling Macron, adding that Israel is taking “all possible measures to prevent harm to uninvolved civilians” and casting the blame for civilian casualties on Hamas.