Macron tells Netanyahu Gaza war must end, mum on freeing hostages

Lazar Berman is The Times of Israel's diplomatic reporter

In a phone call with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, French President Emmanuel Macron calls for an end to the war in Gaza and the return of hostages, according to a readout from the Élysée Palace, though he does not condition a ceasefire on the release of the captives.

“The ordeal of the Palestinians in Gaza must end,” says Macron.

Macron also expresses his support for Joe Biden’s ceasefire plan — which the US President presented as an Israeli proposal — and placed “overwhelming” responsibility on Hamas to accept the deal.

The French leader calls for the ceasefire deal to “reopen a credible perspective for implementing the two-state solution,” and for a “reformed and strengthened Palestinian Authority” to govern Gaza.

Macron offers condolences to Netanyahu after the announcement that four more hostages had been confirmed dead, and “reiterated the solidarity of the French people with the Israeli people in the face of terrorism.”

On Lebanon, where France is an influential player, Macron expresses his concern over the expanding fighting between Israel and Hamas, and says France is fully committed to finding a diplomatic solution.

He also voices “deep concern over the trajectory of Iran’s nuclear program,” and pledges to put pressure on Tehran to honor their commitments.

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