French President Emmanuel Macron reached out to Israeli President Isaac Herzog on Sunday to clarify statements he made during a BBC interview on Friday. The comments had led to a diplomatic dispute with Israel, prompting criticism from Prime Minister Netanyahu.
President Macron emphasized that he never intended to accuse Israel of deliberately harming innocent civilians in its campaign against the terrorist organization Hamas. He reiterated his unwavering support for Israel’s right to self-defense and expressed solidarity with Israel’s efforts against Hamas.
During the conversation, Macron clarified that his remarks in the interview pertained to the humanitarian situation, an issue of importance for him and many countries. He underscored the need to find and facilitate humanitarian solutions for the citizens in Gaza. Macron also reiterated his commitment to advocating for the immediate release of hostages, emphasizing his active involvement in addressing this crucial matter.
President Herzog acknowledged the pain and upset caused by Macron’s reported comments in Israel over the weekend. He appreciated Macron’s clarification on both Saturday night and Sunday in various publications. Herzog affirmed that Israel and the IDF continue to act in a humanitarian manner and in accordance with international law. He emphasized Israel’s efforts to prevent harm to uninvolved civilians and attributed responsibility for any harm in the Gaza Strip to the terrorist organization Hamas.