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France's Macron warns Hezbollah, Iran 'not to open new fronts' in current Mideast conflict

October 24, 2023 at 1:44 pm

French President Emmanuel Macron addresses media during a joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister in Jerusalem on October 24, 2023 [CHRISTOPHE ENA/POOL/AFP via Getty Images]

France’s President, on Tuesday, warned Hezbollah and Iran to not open new fronts in the current Mideast conflict, Anadolu Agency reports.

“We must (fight a battle) while avoiding (setting) ablaze in the entire region,” Emmanuel Macron told a joint news conference in Jerusalem, alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“I warn Hezbollah, the Iranian regime, the Houthis in Yemen and all of the other groups in the region that threaten Israel, to not take the reckless risk of opening new fronts,” Macron added.

Thirty French nationals have been killed during the conflict, he added, vowing continued efforts for the release of hostages who are French nationals.

He also suggested forming an international and regional coalition, such as the one against Daesh in order to fight terrorist groups.

Call for respecting civilians

Macron stressed that even fierce fights have rules, and added: “We are democracies that respect the laws of war, guarantee humanitarian access and do not target civilians either in Gaza or anywhere else.”

In this context, he called for allowing humanitarian assistance and restoring electricity in hospitals for the patients and injured.

“We are ready to bring concrete assistance to all populations,” he also said.

Following an overall blockade, including water and electricity, since Saturday Israel has been allowing a trickle of aid trucks into Gaza, but only a small fraction of the hundreds of trucks needed every day, according to aid groups.

Political path needed for peace, stability

Macron also pointed to the political aspect of the conflict, saying: “Israel’s security cannot be sustainable without a decisive re-launch of the political process with the Palestinians.”

“Stability in the region … can be guaranteed … by Israel accepting Palestinians’ legitimate right to have a territory and a state in peace and security alongside Israel, since it would integrate, as a primary condition, the Israeli existence and security,” Macron explained.

The conflict in Gaza, which has been under Israeli bombardment and a blockade since 7 October,  began when the Palestinian group, Hamas, initiated Operation Al-Aqsa Flood, a multi-pronged surprise attack that included a barrage of rocket launches and infiltrations into Israel by land, sea and air.

READ: France’s Macron condemns Israel strike on Gaza hospital, calls for humanitarian access to Strip

It said the incursion was in retaliation for the storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque and growing violence by Israeli settlers against Palestinians.

The Israeli military then launched a relentless bombardment of Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip.

The Palestinian death toll from ongoing Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip has climbed to 5,087, the Health Ministry in the enclave said, including 2,055 children and 1,119 women, as well as 15,273 people injured.

More than 1,400 Israelis have been killed in Hamas attacks since 7 October, according to Israeli authorities.