Conflicts & War

France to send ship to support Gaza hospitals, Macron says

Cairo, Oct 25 (EFE).- France will send one of its navy ships to provide support to hospitals in Gaza, French President Emmanuel Macron announced Wednesday.

Macron said the ship would be deployed in the next 48 hours, adding that a plane will arrive Thursday in Egypt to deliver medical material to the Palestinian enclave through the Rafah crossing, which connects the Egyptian Sinai with the Gaza Strip.

“I decided today to send a ship of our national Navy, which will arrive soon to serve the hospitals in Gaza and will leave from Toulon in the next 48 hours,” Macron said in Cairo after meeting with his Egyptian counterpart, Abdelfatah al Sisi.

The French politician also announced that France will increase its contribution for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) by 10 million euros to boost aid to civilians in the Gaza Strip and the arrival of humanitarian supplies to the Palestinian enclave.

“France has always defended human values and all the victims deserve our compassion,” said Macron, who insisted that water and electricity, as well as other supplies, must reach the Strip “without any obstacle”, an issue that he conveyed earlier in the day to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and to the president of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA), Mahmoud Abbas.

The French president has made protecting civilians one of the pillars of the Middle East trip he is on to address Israel’s war with Hamas, the Islamist group that governs the Gaza Strip, and prevent the conflict from escalating or spreading.

At the end of his meeting with Al Sisi, Macron also called for the international coalition fighting the terrorist group Islamic State (IS) to extend its scope to Hamas.

“We have to continue our collaboration against terrorism and collaborate on intelligence and it is work that needs time and management,” said Macron, who insisted that he wants “a peace agreement to address the escalation.”

Macron reiterated the third point to achieve peace and security in the region: “The solution of the two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side,” the French president proposed to Al Sisi, in the same way he did earlier on Wednesday to King Abdullah of Jordan in Amman.

Macron denied allegations that his country had a “double standard” and affirmed that France respects the international and military law of war, as well as Israel’s right to defend itself from the attack carried out by the armed wing of Hamas, although he stressed once again that the conflict must be prevented from spreading to the regional and international level.

In this regard, he called for the release of the hostages held by Hamas, including nine French civilians. EFE


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