Telephone conversation between President Emmanuel Macron and Benyamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of the State of Israel (24 March 2024)

The President of the French Republic held a telephone call with the Prime Minister of the State of Israel, Mr Benjamin Netanyahu, on Sunday, 24 March 2024.

The President reaffirmed his solidarity with the Israeli people following the terrorist attacks on 7 October 2023 and France’s commitment to Israel’s security. He underlined that the release of all hostages remains an absolute priority for France and mentioned the three French hostages who are still in captivity.

The President reiterated his call for an immediate and lasting ceasefire in Gaza and expressed his utmost concern as to the operations carried out by the Israeli armed forces in the Al-Shifa hospital complex since Monday. He once again expressed his firm opposition to an Israeli offensive on Rafah. He recalled that the forcible transfer of populations was a war crime under international law and that Gaza’s future could only be addressed in the framework of a future Palestinian State and under the responsibility of the Palestinian Authority.

The two leaders then discussed the unacceptable toll and humanitarian situation in Gaza and the absolute urgency of guaranteeing massive deliveries of humanitarian aid, given the imminent risk of famine and the deprivation of the most essential goods imposed on Gaza’s people. The President stressed the need for Israel to immediately and unconditionally open, as called for by the International Court of Justice, all land crossing points to the Gaza Strip, including the Karni crossing point, with a direct land route from Jordan and the port of Ashdod. The number of incoming trucks should be subject to transparent communication in coordination with the United Nations. France is committed to delivering more aid and prepared to work on increased coordination.

In this month of religious holidays, the President also called for all measures that could cause unrest in Jerusalem and the West Bank to be avoided. He stressed the importance of maintaining the status quo at the Holy Places in Jerusalem.

The President also firmly condemned the recent Israeli announcements on settlement-building, illegal under international law. He underlined that initial steps had been taken at national and European levels against settlers guilty of violence against Palestinian civilians and that France was considering other measures, in liaison with its partners.

The President then informed the Israeli Prime Minister of France’s intention to bring to the UN Security Council a draft resolution calling for an immediate and lasting ceasefire and laying the groundwork for a sustainable political settlement of the conflict. The two-state solution remains the only one that can address the security needs of Israel and the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinians. This solution involves the creation of a Palestinian State, including Gaza, but also willing and courageous commitment to peace by Israeli and Palestinian political leaders.

Finally, the two leaders discussed the regional situation. The President underlined the need to work towards a diplomatic solution and avoid any escalation between Israel and Lebanon, including through full implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701. France will continue passing on messages of restraint to regional actors, including Iran, to avoid regional conflagration.

Originally published at

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